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How Infectious Ideas Are Killing 
Common Sense 



Praise for 


“Lacking fear, charismatic in his speech, and armed with solid, 
straightforward, biologically grounded ideas, Dr. Gad Saad has become 
somewhat of an internet phenomenon over the last few years. His new book 
continues in the same vein, warning its readers of the dangers of an 
unthinking progressive agenda and helping reestablish the general 
consensus that allows peace to prevail. Has your common sense been 
thoroughly assaulted? Read this book, strengthen your resolve, and help us 
all return to reason.” 

—JORDAN PETERSON, PH.D., clinical psychologist, professor of psychology at the 
University of Toronto, and author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos 

“With disarming humor and withering logic, evolutionary behavioral 
scientist Gad Saad shows us that self-delusion is an equal-opportunity 
employer, not defined by race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, 
political leanings, or level of education. Nothing is taboo. To read The 
Parasitic Mind is to understand why so many people either embrace Saad for 
his clarity or reject him for holding up a mirror to their inconsistencies.” 
—PAUL A. OFFIT, M.D., Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, Perelman 

School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of Deadly 
Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All 

“Gad Saad argues that ‘nefarious forces have slowly eroded the West’s 
commitment to reason, science, and the values of the Enlightenment’ and 
that these forces act like the weird brain parasites that alter the behavior of 
mice to make them less afraid of cats, driving human society towards a dark 
age of irrational prejudice and superstition. His courage, his rationality, and 
his enthusiasm for that much-neglected thing, the truth, shine through this 
powerful book.” 

—MATT RIDLEY, PH.D., author of The Rational Optimist and How Innovation Works 

“A wonderfully intelligent, witty, and riveting account of the politically 
correct madness engulfing our society. The Parasitic Mind is a must-read for 
anyone concerned about victim politics, cancel culture, and the assault on 
reason. Saad not only expertly diagnoses the malady, he also points the way 
to a cure.” 

—CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS, PH.D., resident scholar at the American Enterprise 
Institute and co-author of One Nation Under Therapy 

“A virus is sweeping through our civilization—a mind virus corrupting the 
brains of students, professors, and the public at large—and The Parasitic 
Mind is the vaccine that will counter this pernicious pandemic. Professor 
Gad Saad has emerged as a heroic public warrior fighting for reason and 
science in the search for truth. That he has developed such a fearless 
following clamoring for a work like this is a testimony to its necessity and 
why I think its broad readership will help stem the tide of unreason and anti- 

—MICHAEL SHERMER, PH.D., publisher at Skeptic magazine and author of Giving the 
Devil His Due 



A Division of Salem Media Group 

To Lior, Bahebak 


When we think of a pandemic, we often conjure images of deadly infectious 
diseases that spread rapidly across countries causing unimaginable human 
suffering (like the Black Death, the Spanish influenza, AIDS, or the ongoing 
COVID-19 crisis). The West is currently suffering from such a devastating 
pandemic, a collective malady that destroys people’s capacity to think 
rationally. Unlike other pandemics where biological pathogens are to blame, 
the current culprit is composed of a collection of bad ideas, spawned on 
university campuses, that chip away at our edifices of reason, freedom, and 
individual dignity. This book identifies these idea pathogens, discusses their 
spread from the universities to all walks of life including politics, business, 
and popular culture, and offers ways to inoculate ourselves from their 
devastating effects. 

In Chapter One, I offer a brief synopsis of the factors that led to my 
becoming an ardent warrior against these destructive ideas including my 
experience of two great wars, the Lebanese Civil War (as a child) and the war 
against reason (as a professor over the past twenty-five years), as well as my 
life ideals of seeking freedom and truth. In Chapter Two, I explore the 
tension between thinking and feeling, and the tension between the pursuit of 
truth and the minimization of hurt feelings. I argue that it is wrongheaded to 
create a false tension between our reasoning faculty and our emotions. We 
are both a thinking and a feeling animal. A problem arises when we apply 
the wrong system to a given situation (such as letting our emotions guide us 
in a situation that requires reason, or vice versa). I provide several 
contemporary examples to highlight this point including the hysterical 
emotional responses to Donald Trump’s election as president of the United 
States and Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the United States Supreme 
Court. In Chapter Three, I posit that freedom of speech, the scientific 
method, intellectual diversity, and a meritocratic ethos rooted in individual 

dignity rather than adherence to the ideology of Diversity, Inclusion, and 
Equity (DIE) are nonnegotiable elements of a truly enlightened society. A 
fair society ensures that its members have equality of opportunities and not 
equality of outcomes as mandated by DIE edicts. Chapter Four addresses 
several anti-science, anti-reason, and illiberal idea pathogens including 
postmodernism, radical feminism, and transgender activism, the latter two 
of which are rooted in a deeply hysterical form of biophobia (fear of 
biology). These idea pathogens destroy our understanding of reality and 
common sense by espousing such positions as: invisible art is a form of art, 
all sex differences are due to social construction, and some women have 
nine-inch penises. Chapter Five examines how the mindset of social justice 
warriors gave rise to universities that prioritize minimizing hurt feelings 
over pursuing truth (a continuation of the theme first addressed in Chapter 
Two), the Oppression Olympics (intersectionality), Collective Munchausen 
and the homeostasis of victimology (I’m a victim therefore I am), and pious 
self-flagellating at the altar of progressivism. In this view, warped by outrage 
and resentment, the world is binary: you are either a noble victim (even if 
you have to make it up) or a disgusting bigot (even if you’ve never been 
one). Choose a side. Chapter Six explores Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome (OPS), 
a malady of disordered thinking that robs people of their ability to recognize 
truths that are as obvious as the existence of the sun. Science denialism is 
one manifestation of OPS but there are many others. Those afflicted with 
OPS utilize a broad range of strategies to shelter themselves from reality 
including the use of six degrees of faux-causality wherein countless ills are 
pinned wrongly on one’s favorite culprit (such as “climate change causes 
terrorism”). I examine how OPS sufferers take imbecilic and at times 
suicidal positions regarding issues of civilizational import including the root 
causes of global terrorism, the virtues of open borders, the apparent 
congruence between sharia law and the United States Constitution, and the 
supposed racism of profiling. To document the pandemic of disordered 
thinking without offering a way for people to inoculate themselves against 
these idea pathogens would be insufficient. So in Chapter Seven while 
warning readers of various forms of faux-profundity masquerading as truth, 
I examine how to seek truth via the assiduous and careful erecting of 
nomological networks of cumulative evidence. Finally, in the last chapter, I 
propose reasons that cause people to remain passive bystanders in the battle 
of ideas, and I suggest a course of action to turn the tide. Do not 

underestimate the power of your voice. Seismic changes start off as small 
rumbles. Get engaged in the battle for reason and freedom of thought and 
speech. Your voice matters. Use it. 

I am periodically challenged in my dogged efforts to combat the idea 
pathogens spread by social justice warriors. The criticisms usually take one 
of two related forms: 1) “Professor Saad, are you not exaggerating the 
problem? After all, social justice warriors constitute a minority on most 
campuses.” 2) “Dr. Saad, why don’t you tackle more important problems? 
Stop obsessing about some quack outliers. Your time would be better spent 
elsewhere. Discuss science. Teach us about your areas of scientific expertise.” 
Let me tackle each position in turn with the hope that my responses might 
compel some people who are quietly watching from the sidelines to join the 
battle of ideas. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men armed with nothing 
more than religious fervor and ideological zealotry, killed nearly 3,000 
people and permanently altered the New York skyscape if not our collective 
sense of security. The devastation inflicted by motivated terrorists can 
greatly exceed their number. Similarly, social justice warriors and their ilk 
are intellectual terrorists, and they can wreak havoc on reason and our 
public life, limiting people’s willingness to speak and think freely, without 
ever constituting a majority. 

On April 6, 2019, I posted the following message on my social media 

Some people are truly irredeemably clueless. They post comments 
attacking me for criticizing the SJW [social justice warrior] 
mindset instead of supposedly tackling “important” matters. Yes, 
because having a set of idea pathogens take complete control over 
the minds and souls of millions of people in academia, 
government, companies, the media, and the general society in a 
manner that is akin to religious superstitious dogma is 
“unimportant.” Having anti-science, anti-reason nonsense taught 
to children in elementary schools is “unimportant.” Having 
governments and universities push policies that are antithetical to 
individual dignity & a meritocratic ethos is “unimportant.” There 
is NOTHING more important than fighting for freedom of 
speech, freedom of conscience, and a commitment toward science, 
reason, & logic over quasi-religious dogma. Those who are 

incapable of seeing the larger picture are complicit in perpetuating 
the current zeitgeist of lunacy. That at times I use satire, sarcasm, 
and humour to battle against the enemies of reason should not 

detract you from understanding how serious this battle is.’ 

This book is all about that battle. 

An associated criticism that I often receive is a form of whataboutism on 
steroids. People expect that I should dispense my ire and cast my critical eye 
on the right in equal measure as I do the left. I inhabit the world of 
academia. This is an ecosystem that has been dominated by leftist thinking 
for many decades and certainly for the entirety of my professional career. 
The idea pathogens that I discuss in this book stem largely if not totally from 
leftist academics. Postmodernism, radical feminism, cultural relativism, 
identity politics, and the rest of the academic nonsense were not developed 
and promulgated by right-wing zealots. Runaway selection is an 
evolutionary mechanism that explains how animals evolve greatly 
exaggerated traits (like the peacock’s tail).” I posit that many of the idea 
pathogens covered in this book are manifestations of a form of runaway 
selection of insanity spawned by leftist professors. There is an ever- 
increasing ideological pressure to come up with more egregious departures 
from reason, as a signal of one’s progressive purity. As an evolutionary 
behavioral scientist, I am as keen to criticize Republican politicians who 
choose to “reject” evolution as I am Democrats who reject some of its 
implications. My focus on the left is a mere reflection of the fact that its 
intelligentsia shape academic culture and the subsequent downstream effects 
that trickle to the rest of society. I don’t need to critique both sides of the 
political aisle with equal alacrity under the misguided desire to appear 
impartial. That would be akin to asking a gynecologic oncologist who 
specializes in cervical cancer why he maintains a strict focus on women. 
Come on, Doc, don’t be sexist. Please be impartial and also treat men with 
cervical cancer. (Actually, this is now a possibility since trans men have 
cervices.) My goal is to defend the truth, and today it is the left’s pathogenic 
ideas that are leading us to an abyss of infinite, irrational darkness. 

Another manifestation of whataboutism occurs when people accuse me 
of not focusing on their preferred issues. “But what about Israel, Professor 
Saad? Why don’t you criticize their policies? What about Trump’s position 

on climate change, Professor Saad? Are you a climate change denier? If you 
care so much about the state of our educational system, why don’t you attack 
Trump’s secretary of education Betsy DeVos?” This is as logical as 
questioning why a dermatologist is spending her time curing melanoma. 
What about childhood leukemia, Doc? Why are you being hypocritical in your 
clinical practice? You never perform surgeries on ruptured Achilles tendons, 
Doc. Why the obsessive focus on skin-related medical conditions? To reiterate, 
I fight against a particular class of mind viruses. This does not imply that I 
should address all issues under the sun with equal zeal. This reminds me of 
creationists who proclaim that in the spirit of fairness, high school students 
need to be taught evolution and intelligent design as competing theories. 
Intellectual consistency does not require that I critique the full universe of 
idiotic ideas. I am a parasitologist of the human mind, seeking to inoculate 
people against a class of destructive ideas that destroy our capacity to reason. 

Upon reading this book, I hope that readers will walk away with a 
renewed sense of optimism. We may have fallen into an abyss of infinite 
lunacy, but it is not too late to grab hold of the rope of reason and hoist 
ourselves back into the warm light of logic, science, and common sense. 
Thank you for coming on this journey. Truth shall prevail. 


From Civil War to the Battle of Ideas 

I am often asked why I am an outspoken academic, willing to tackle thorny 
and difficult issues well beyond my areas of scientific interest. Given the 
stifling political correctness that governs academia, it would be advisable 
from a careerist perspective to be the proverbial “stay in your lane” 
professor. So why do I stick my neck out repeatedly? As is true of most 
human phenomena, the answer lies in the unique combination of my 
personhood (genes) coupled with my personal history (environment). On a 
personal level, I am a free thinker who is allergic to go-along, get-along 
group think. The ideals that drive my life are freedom and truth, and any 
attack on these ideals represents an existential threat to all that I hold dear. I 
am also the product of my unique life trajectory shaped by two wars. While 
few people will ever experience the horrors of war, I have faced two great 
wars in my life: the Lebanese Civil War and the war against reason, science, 
and logic that has been unleashed in the West, especially on North American 
university campuses. The Lebanese war taught me early about the ugliness of 
tribalism and religious dogma. It likely informed my subsequent disdain for 
identity politics, as I grew up in an ecosystem where the group to which you 
belonged mattered more than your individuality. With that in mind, let us 
return to my homeland in the Middle East. 

Growing Up in Lebanon 

I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1964 and spent the first eleven years of 
my life in the “Paris of the Middle East.” My family was part of the 
dwindling Jewish community that had steadfastly remained in Lebanon 
despite the growing signs that Lebanese Jews had a bleak future. My father 
had nine sisters and a brother, while my mother had six sisters, all of whom, 
with the exception of one paternal aunt, had emigrated from Lebanon long 

prior to the outbreak of the civil war in 1975. My maternal grandparents 
died prior to my birth; my paternal grandparents left for Israel around 1970. 
A similar immigration pattern occurred within my immediate family. I have 
two brothers and one sister, all much older than I (the closest to me in age is 
ten years older). My eldest brother married a Christian woman of 
Palestinian origin, and they immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1974. My 
sister also moved to Montreal prior to the outbreak of the civil war, both to 
pursue her studies and to escape the looming dangers. Finally, my other 
brother who had been crowned Lebanese champion of judo on multiple 
occasions was forced to flee our homeland due to ominous threats that he 
should retire (for it was not good optics for a Jew to repeatedly win a combat 
sport). He heeded that “advice” and moved to Paris, France, around 1973 to 
continue his studies and judo career. The breathtaking irony is that he 
eventually represented Lebanon at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Hence, the 
Jewish judoka who was no longer welcomed in Lebanon only a few years 
earlier was “embraced” when it suited the relevant authorities. 

Growing up as a Jewish boy in Lebanon had its existential challenges. I 
vividly recall when the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser died in 1970, 
a few weeks shy of my sixth birthday. Nasser’s Pan-Arabism (unification of 
the Arab world) had made him a hero in the region, and as often happens in 
the Middle East, thousands of people took to the streets to publicly lament 
his passing. Why would this event constitute an episodic memory for a five- 
year-old boy? As the angry procession made its way down our street (aptly 
named Rue de l’Armée or The Military’s Street), the terrifying chant “Death 
to Jews” left an indelible mark on me as I cowered in hiding next to our 
balcony. You see, even in “progressive, modern, and pluralistic” Lebanon, 
endemic Jew-hatred was always ready to rear its ugly head. All calamities in 
the Middle East are ultimately due to the diabolical Jew. It rained today. 
Blame the Jews. The economy is weak. Blame the Jews. Tourism is down. 
Blame the Jews. You contracted a stomach bug. Blame the Jews. The 
Christians and Muslims in Lebanon are not getting along. You guessed it, 
blame the Jews. And contrary to current attempts at revisionist history, this 
existential disdain for the Jew precedes the founding of modern Israel by 
1,400 years. I can still remember sitting around the table on Yom Kippur 
(the holiest day in Judaism) in 1973 watching the worried look on my 
parents’ faces as word broke that a combined Arab army had attacked Israel 
on that holy day. Existential genocidal hatred is not something that one 

magically and suddenly contracts as an adult; rather, it is instilled insidiously 
and repeatedly in the minds of otherwise pure and innocent children. I was 
the only one of my four siblings not to attend a Jewish elementary school. I 
must have been nine or ten years old, in class at the Lycée des Jeunes Filles, 
when the teacher asked pupils to state what they wanted to be when they 
grew up. Typical responses were uttered uneventfully (policeman or soccer 
player) until one student said, “When I grow up, I want to be a Jew killer,” 
after which the class erupted in raucous laughter and gleeful claps. I still 
have the class photos from that era, and that boy’s face is forever etched in 
my memory. 

In sharing these stories, I don’t wish to imply that our daily lives in 
Lebanon prior to the civil war were hellish. My parents were well entrenched 
within Lebanese society. The fact that we were part of the last wave of Jews 
to leave Lebanon was a testament to my parents’ overall attachment to our 
homeland. Most of my childhood friends were Christian and Muslim (one of 
whom recently reached out to me, as his daughter was about to start college 
in Montreal). Any hope of long-lasting peaceful coexistence was shattered 
once the civil war broke out in 1975. This conflict remains the standard by 
which the butchery of all other civil wars is gauged. Neighbors who had lived 
next door to one another for decades became instant prospective enemies. 
Death awaited us at every corner. If the endless shelling did not kill you (we 
learned to take cover or not depending on the whistle signature of the 
bombs), the snipers might if you appeared within their field of vision. 
Civilians were kidnapped and killed. They were also mowed down while 
waiting in long bread queues (two of my family members evaded such a 
death by going out late to buy bread during a ceasefire). Various militia set 
up roadblocks at which point they'd check to see your internal ID (which 
had one’s religion written on it). If you were of the “wrong” religion, you 
could be executed. Our religious heritage was written as “Israelite” rather 
than “Jewish,” which meant we had few Muslim friends at roadblocks. Of 
the innumerable terrifying moments that I experienced during the civil war, 
one sticks out in my mind as uniquely eerie and ominous. 

Prior to the start of the war, my parents had contracted a hand dryer 
service that provided a roll of washable textile which was installed on the 
wall of our kitchen. This was a precursor of the subsequent models of 
disposable hand drying tissues found in public bathrooms. Periodically, the 

same individual would come to our house to remove the dirty roll and 
replace it with a clean one (I believe his name was Ahmad or perhaps 
Mohammad). I thought that this was a rather strange service then, and even 
more so now as I recount the story. One evening, in the middle of the 
otherwise endless street-to-street fighting and continuous bomb shelling, I 
heard a knock at our front door. I walked to the door and asked who was 
there. The reply came: “It’s me Ahmad [Mohammad], the guy who changes 
your kitchen roll. Open the door, kid.” I delayed, and his insistence grew 
more sinister and forceful: “Open the door now!” I ran to my mother. If 
memory serves me right, there were four occupants at our house that 
evening: my mother, my sister (who had returned to Beirut to visit us and 
was now stuck there), a male friend of my parents (who was also stuck at our 
house even though he lived a short drive away), and myself. My father was 
not at home; I believe he was outside the country, but I can’t remember why 
he was away. He eventually returned to Beirut and narrowly escaped death 
on the drive back to our home. My mother approached the door and talked 
through it with Ahmad who was accompanied by one or more men. The 
exchange grew tense, and my mother fetched the male friend who was 
cowering in another room. She hoped he might frighten them away, and I 
recall the disgust and anger that my mother expressed for this male friend’s 
breathtaking cowardice in refusing to help. 

Within the brutality and chaos of the civil war, there remained some 
semblance of law and order. As a last-ditch effort and against all odds, my 
mother phoned the police (the Arabic word for the outfit was “sixteen”), and 
they took the call—remember that this is during a full-blown war. Once they 
arrived at our house, we opened the door and let everyone into the kitchen. 
The lead policeman asked the men why they were there and who they were. 
Ahmad replied: “Oh, my friends and I were in the mountains, and we 
brought back a basket of pomegranate with us, and so we stopped by to give 
it to this family.” After the policeman (I recall his impressive rifle by his side) 
checked to confirm the contents of the basket, he stared coldly at Ahmad 
and said: “Your connection to this family is that you change their hand 
drying roll, and you decided to brave the street fighting and come in the 
middle of the night to offer them pomegranate. If I ever find you here again, 
youll have serious problems.” What happened next still gives me shivers 
down my spine. Ahmad looked at us and said very coldly and menacingly: 

“Tl be back for you.” We did not stay much longer in Lebanon after that 
incident, and so Ahmad never had the chance to “visit” us again. 

It was clear that we needed to leave Lebanon as soon as possible. The day 
of our escape from Lebanon was straight out of a shoot em up movie. On 
that fateful day, some armed Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) militia 
picked us up at our home. They had been contracted to get us safely to 
Beirut International Airport; the risk was that they might drive us to a ditch 
and execute us. The PLO controlled the area around the airport, so there was 
little chance of clearing the checkpoints if the appropriate militia did not 
accompany you. One of the armed men asked me if I wanted to hold his 
machine gun, which I did with excited trepidation. On the way to the 
airport, I recall my father proclaiming that he had forgotten his money belt 
at our house and that we needed to return to get it. The militiamen rejected 
my father’s plea, and we proceeded on our precarious journey. The next 
memory that I have is perhaps one of the most poignant ones of my life: the 
flight captain declared that we were out of Lebanese airspace, at which point 
my mother took out a chain with a Star of David (or it might have been a 
Chai, a Hebrew symbol for life or living), placed it around my neck, and said: 
“Now you can wear this, not hide your identity, and be proud of who you 
are.” Several years later, I asked my parents to fill in my memory lapse: Why 
could I not remember any other details from our drive to the Beirut 
International Airport? Apparently, as we drove through the various 
neighborhoods, our militiamen exchanged fire with unsympathetic local 
militias. We were crouched in the car with luggage over our heads. I have no 
memory of that incident. 

My first impression of Montreal was how cold it was. I had never 
experienced such a climate. That said, I recall thinking that it was better to 
face falling snow than falling bombs. I vividly remember being driven by my 
parents to Iona Elementary School. It was a dark and dreary day. The 
teacher graciously asked me to stand in front of the class and introduce 
myself. This was an English school, and I knew very few English words 
(other than whatever I might have learned while watching spaghetti westerns 
growing up in Beirut). I began: “Mon nom est Gad Saad. Je viens du Liban.” 
[My name is Gad Saad. I come from Lebanon.] I faced the dreaded collective 
blank stare. Using my hands, I gestured a machine gun mowing down 
people while stating “Liban, Liban.” I recently ran into a classmate who was 

present on my infamous first day at school, and he confirmed that this 
episode was also etched in his mind. It is perhaps poetic that we ran into one 
another at my daughter’s elementary school year-end BBQ. 

Even though we had safely arrived at Montreal in 1975, our Lebanese 
nightmare continued well beyond that point. My parents found it difficult to 
adapt to their new lives in Canada, and so they did not fully sever their ties 
with their homeland until 1980. This was the year that my parents made one 
of their imprudent return trips to Beirut and were kidnapped by Fatah. They 
were held captive for several days during which time they faced a very 
unsavory reality. During their disappearance, I was kept in the dark about 
their circumstances (in a bid to protect me), and only found out what had 
really happened once my parents were freed (via high-level political figures 
who intervened on their behalf). One of my high school classmates, who was 
also Lebanese-Jewish, was fully aware of my parents’ kidnapping (his parents 
and mine were lifelong friends). He later recounted to me that he had found 
it very odd that I appeared so carefree and joyful during my parents’ 
disappearance. He did not know that I was unaware of their lot as the tragic 
events were unfolding. As my parents were about to embark on their final 
flight out of Lebanon, their friends reminded them that while they were very 
sad to see them go, they should never return. Their sage advice was heeded. 
The gravity of the situation hit me hard upon being reunited with them in 
Montreal. I will never forget the trauma in their eyes as well as my father’s 
temporary asymmetric facial paralysis. I also recall being haunted by the 
possibility that my mother might have been gang raped by her captors. 

That I miraculously escaped from Lebanon offered me some temporary 
respite for the next fifteen years or so. The ugliness of ideological tribalism, 
however, returned to haunt me on university campuses. But before I get to 
that, I want to discuss the two life ideals that best explain why I fight against 
the enemies of reason. 

My Life Ideals: Freedom and Truth 

I was only ever interested in two possible occupations, professional soccer 
player and professor. The plan was to pursue my athletic career full throttle 
and once I retired, I would complete my studies and become a professor. 
While it is quite rare for professional athletes to complete advanced degrees, 

Socrates, the captain of the Brazilian national soccer team at the 1982 World 
Cup, was also a physician. While not an athlete, Brian May, the guitarist of 
the legendary British rock band Queen obtained a Ph.D. in astrophysics 
from Imperial College London in 2007 (three decades after abandoning his 
studies to focus on his musical career). It was certainly not a pipe dream to 
aspire to both careers. Regrettably, a devastating injury coupled with other 
life obstacles ended my soccer career, and so, I dove into my studies. I 
completed an undergraduate degree in mathematics (I recently found out 
though that mathematics is “racist”’) and computer science, which catered 
nicely to my bent for perfectionism and analytical purity. After all, a 
mathematical proof is either correct or not. Programming code is either free 
of bugs or not. Immediately after completing my B.Sc. degree at McGill 
University, I enrolled in the two-year M.B.A. program at the same 
institution. During my second year as an M.B.A. student, I was one of a 
handful of fortunate students picked by Professor Jay Conger for his Group 
Dynamics course. In each class we delved into psychological principles that 
illuminated our personal lives. In one of our assignments, we had to identify 
the scripts that defined our life trajectories (a framework originally 
developed by psychiatrist Eric Berne, who established the theory and 
practice of transactional analysis). Berne argued that parents give their 
children scripts for their lives somewhat in the way that actors receive scripts 
in order to play their roles. While I concede that parents do wield sizeable 
influence in shaping their offspring, psychoanalytic theories overestimate 
such forces while ignoring the unique combination of genes that defines an 
individual. Some people might indeed be commandeered by life scripts. (“Be 
a good boy and do us proud. Don’t dishonor the family.”) Others might be 
driven by a desire to meet certain guiding ideals and/or objectives. (“Make 
the world a better place.”) 

It requires deep (and difficult) self-reflection to consider whether and 
how one’s life has been governed by a recurring life script or by a recurrent 
assertion of certain ideals. Many realities that you’ve faced might seem 
disconnected but upon further scrutiny, you might discover that they are 
linked via a common script or ideal that you value. One of the benefits of 
psychotherapy is to precisely identify such patterns for patients. In my case, 
my life has been shaped by a commitment to two foundational ideals: 
freedom and truth. The pursuit of these two ideals was not imposed on me 

by my parents; rather, it is a manifestation of my personhood as inscribed in 
my genes. I’ll address each of these ideals in turn. 

The Freedom Ideal 

My love of freedom became apparent as a young child being dragged to 
synagogue in Beirut, Lebanon. I found the rote prayers and herd-like rituals 
very alienating. My inquisitive nature felt stifled by religious dogma. I found 
no freedom in religious practice. You simply belonged to the group and 
mimicked their behaviors. I suspect that many children find religious 
services unappealing, but I had a more visceral repulsion. My strong 
individuality, even at such a young age, rebelled at the pressure to conform, 
and I was delighted to have been the only one of four children in my family 
never to attend Jewish school. In my forties, my father shared with me his 
deep regret that I did not receive a Jewish education. I told him that I was 
thankful that he had not forced such an education on me. My friendships 
and romantic interests have spanned races, ethnicities, and religions, and I 
am richer for it. Fast forward to my teenage years when I developed into a 
very competitive soccer player with the potential to head to Europe to 
pursue a professional career. I played the number ten position, which is 
typically reserved for a skillful playmaker who is given free rein to roam the 
field. Whenever I had a coach who placed constraints on my movements, I 
was devastated. My playing style required complete freedom of movement, 
and anything short of that had a deleterious effect on my performance. 

The pursuit of freedom is also at the root of my professorial career. This 
holds true on two very different levels. Academia grants me the freedom to 
spend my time throughout a given day as I see fit. I often work very long 
hours, albeit at my discretion as to when and where I do so. Having to attend 
two or three scheduled meetings in a given week suffocates me, but I’m 
perfectly relaxed at the prospect of spending twelve hours at a café working 
on my next book. Having occupational freedom is good for me. People who 
possess less occupational freedom have higher cortisol levels (a higher stress 
response). The social epidemiologist Michael Marmot has documented the 
relationship between individuals’ health and the extent to which they possess 

control over their job responsibilities. More freedom equals better health. 

There is a second element of freedom that has defined my scientific 
career, and that is the freedom to navigate radically different intellectual 
landscapes. For most academics, the road to glory requires a commitment to 
hyper-specialization. Develop expertise in a small niche and stay in your 
lane. Most academics build their entire professional reputations on research 
of very narrow areas of interest. I do not have the intellectual temperament 
for such careerist shackles. As a truly interdisciplinary scientist, I traverse 
disparate intellectual landscapes as long as they tickle my curiosity. This is 
why I have published in varied disciplines including consumer behavior, 
marketing, psychology, evolutionary theory, medicine, economics, and 
bibliometrics. The anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko famously authored a 
book titled I Write What I Like. In my case, I research what I like (and I am 
thankful to my university for having implicitly supported my broad 
academic interests). You might imagine that I do not take too well to those 
who argue that there are some research questions that should never be 

tackled—forbidden knowledge.’ 

My desire for intellectual freedom is also the reason that I am a professor 
who is deeply engaged in social media. Unlike the great majority of my 
highfalutin colleagues who take great pride in being ivory tower-dwellers, I 
am a professor of the people. I consider it part of my job description to 
engage with the public. During a recent visit to give a lecture at the Stanford 
Graduate School of Business, I had a telling conversation with a Stanford 
colleague who epitomizes the “ivory tower” bias. He was aware that I had 
appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast (an extraordinarily popular platform) 
but was clearly disdainful of such public engagement. He seemed to think 
that one could either publish in leading scientific journals or appear on 
Rogan’s show. I disabused him of this false either-or proposition by pointing 
out that a complete academic should strive to do both. Many professors 
forget that their professional responsibility is not only to generate new 
knowledge but also to seek to maximally disseminate it. Social media offers 
endless such opportunities by allowing ideas to spread quickly and to a very 
large number of people. No rational intellectual should oppose such a 
possibility, and yet many succumb to what I refer to as the garage band 
effect. If you are a struggling band that plays in your parents’ garage only to 
be heard by them and a few annoyed neighbors, you are legit. If your band 
becomes a smashing success with a number one hit on Billboard and now 
plays in front of large stadium crowds, you're a “sellout.” This is precisely the 

mindset of many academics. They prefer to publish only in peer reviewed 
journals (play in the garage) and look with derision at appearing on Joe 
Rogan (number one Billboard hits and filled-out stadiums). I reject this 
intellectual elitism for reasons similar to why Donald Trump leapfrogs the 
mainstream media and engages the electorate directly via social media. Take 
the message directly to the people. We have the tools to do so. 

The Truth Ideal 

Without the necessary freedoms, it would be impossible to instantiate my 
second life ideal, namely the pursuit of and defense of truth. There is a 
bidirectional relationship between truth and freedom such that the truth will 
set you free (John 8:32), and only in being free can one aspire to uncover the 
truth. Clearly though, few people stay up at night worrying about injuries to 
the truth. But I do and always have. Growing up, my mother repeatedly 
warned me that the world did not abide by my punishingly strict standards 
of intellectual, ethical, and moral purity, let alone follow my pathological 
commitment to honesty and probity. She was imploring me to recognize 
that the world was made of multiple shades of grey rather than black-or- 
white dichromatic coloring (though she did not use these terms). When I am 
exposed to intellectual dishonesty and ideological dogma, I respond in a 
manner that is akin to someone being punched in the face. I experience an 
adverse emotional and psychological reaction that compels me to fight back. 
While I am a jovial and warm person, I can become a combative brawler 
when I witness departures from reason that stem either from willful 
ignorance or from diabolical, ideologically driven duplicity. 

The quest for truth should always supersede one’s ego-defensive desire to 
be proven right. This is not an easy task because for most people it is difficult 
to admit to being wrong. This is precisely why science is so liberating. It 
offers a framework for auto-correction because scientific knowledge is 
always provisional. An accepted scientific fact today might be refuted 
tomorrow. As such, the scientific method engenders epistemic humility. I 
grew up in a household where this quality was sorely lacking. Several 
members of my family are classic know-it-alls who seldom exhibit any 
deference to someone who might possess greater knowledge or wisdom on a 
given topic. They know more about the heart than the cardiologist, more 
about teeth than the dentist, more about mathematics than the 

mathematician, and more about academia than the academic. Also, they 
were seldom, if ever, willing to admit to being wrong. When it came to 
epistemic humility, they were not reincarnations of Socrates. I was always 
deeply troubled by this family dynamic for I viewed their epistemic 
grandiosity as a deep affront to the truth. A personal anecdote that took 
place more than two decades ago perfectly captures this reality. 

A family member remarked to me that the Ancient Greeks were anti- 
Semitic Christians to which I gently retorted that they were not Christians. 
The individual in question insisted that of course they were Christians. At 
that point, I explained that the time period in question was labelled “BC” in 
reference to its being “before Christ” (prior to Christianity). Once it was 
clear to this person that my position was unassailable, what do you think he 
did? Did he grant me the courtesy of admitting that he was wrong? I have 
recounted this tale on a few occasions and asked people to guess what his 
reaction was. No one has successfully cracked that mystery yet. When all 
hope that he might be proven correct was extinguished, he looked me in the 
eyes and stated with a straight face, “Yes, I said that they were not Christians, 
and you said that they were. So I am right.” Of course, we both knew that 
this was a grotesque lie but in his narcissistic and delusional bubble, his 
perfect record of superior knowledge remained intact. 

My mother’s admonition about the incongruity between my notions of 
intellectual and moral purity and the real-world was ironically on full display 
in my interactions with family members who possess zero epistemic 
humility. My intellectual probity was repeatedly violated by these individuals 
who cared only about signaling to the world that they knew more than you 
did about anything and everything. This family dynamic might explain why 
Iam so offended by individuals who exhibit the Dunning- Kruger effect, that 
is, a self-assuredness and supreme confidence despite one’s idiocy (David 
Dunning was my professor at Cornell University). Social media is infested 
with such types. I, on the other hand, am perfectly comfortable admitting to 
my undergraduate students that I do not know the answer to a posed 
question. This builds trust because students quickly learn that I care about 
the veracity of information that I share with them. On topics I know well, I 
lecture with confidence, on others, such as, say, the pros and cons of 
legalizing cannabis, I exhibit necessary humility. Confucius was correct: “To 
know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.” 

Given my love for pursuing and defending truth, academia is both the 
best and worst profession to be in. As I progressed through my university 
education, I quickly recognized a great paradox: universities are both the 
source of scientific truths and the dispensers of outlandish anti-truths. 

Universities: Purveyors of Truth and Ecosystems of 
Intellectual Garbage 

Once I completed my M.B.A. in 1990, I moved to Ithaca, New York, to 
continue my education at Cornell University where I obtained an M.S. anda 
Ph.D. in 1993 and 1994 respectively. During my first semester, my doctoral 
supervisor, the famed mathematical and cognitive psychologist J. Edward 
Russo, suggested that I enroll in Professor Dennis Regan’s Advanced Social 
Psychology course. This course would wield an inestimable impact on my 
eventual scientific career as this is where I first encountered the 
extraordinary elegance of evolutionary psychology in explaining human 
phenomena. Since I was interested in the study of consumer behavior, I had 
found my academic path. I would combine evolutionary psychology and 
consumer psychology in founding the field of evolutionary consumption. 
That said, my doctoral dissertation was on the psychology of decision- 
making. I examined the cognitive processes that people use when making 
decisions. Specifically, how do we know when we’ve acquired enough 
information to commit to a choice between a pair of competing alternatives? 
Beyond the incredibly rigorous training that I obtained at Cornell from 
many of the world’s leading psychologists and economists, this is where I 
was also first exposed to some of the nonsensical gibberish that I critique in 
this book. I recall taking Professor Russo’s doctoral seminar during which he 
exposed us to the increasing number of postmodernist papers that were 
being published in the leading consumer research journals. One in particular 
exemplified this anti-science lunacy. In 1991, Stephen J. Gould (not to be 
confused with the late Harvard paleontologist) authored a paper in one of 
the most prestigious journals of the field of consumer research. The paper 
was titled “The self-manipulation of my pervasive, perceived vital energy 
“ He began the 
article by lamenting the following: “Much of consumer research has failed to 


through product use: An introspective-praxis perspective. 

describe many experiential aspects of my own consumer behavior, especially 
the everyday dynamics of my pervasive, self-perceived vital energy.” 

Narcissist much? He then proceeded in an outlandish exercise of the 
postmodern methodology of autoethnography (a fancy way of saying he 
wrote a “dear diary” entry couched in pseudo-intellectual drivel). Here are 
two passages wherein he shares an “academic” take on his erection and 

For example, I remember experiencing sensations running 
throughout my body, including my genitals, so that I felt 
something akin to sexual feelings through eating. I am not saying 
that eating feelings were exactly the same as sexual feelings, but 
that they overlapped. For example, I did not have erections over 
food, but I did experience excitement akin to sexual arousal in 
terms of electric feelings and hot-cold flashes that registered from 

my genitals upwards when I actually did eat something. : 

Deliberate charging involving an erotic film creates a more intense 
flow state of excitement so that my heartbeat is noticeable and fast, 
I feel very warm, and my body is quivering with such intensity that 
I may actually shake. This state sometimes is heightened even 
more when my wife and I use certain Asian orgasm control 
techniques that heighten and prolong pleasure in periods spread 
over days or weeks (Gould 1991b), and then watch an erotic film 
to create a culminating crescendo of energy—arousal feeding 


Houston, we have a problem. 

Beyond being briefly exposed to postmodernism and _ associated 
movements, it became clear to me during my doctoral training that much of 
the social sciences were bereft of biological-based thinking. Most human 
phenomena were viewed through the lens of social constructivism (the belief 
that our preferences, choices, and behaviors are largely shaped by 
socialization). This struck me as a nonsensical notion. Surely, the 
environment matters but so does our biological heritage. I left Cornell in 
1994 with a newly minted Ph.D. and joined Concordia University in 
Montreal, Canada, as an assistant professor in the business school. Over the 
next few years, I settled into my tenure-track position and eventually 
obtained tenure in 1999. I lived two separate professional realities. Amongst 
my colleagues in the natural sciences, my attempt to Darwinize the business 

school was considered laudable. This was not the case with my colleagues in 
the social sciences, most of whom viewed such attempts with great derision. 
According to them, biologically-based theorizing was too reductionistic in 
explaining consumer behavior. And, to postulate that sex differences might 
be rooted in evolutionary realities was simply “sexist nonsense.” I quickly 
learned that most academic feminists were profoundly hostile to 
evolutionary psychology. I was respected among evolutionary behavioral 
scientists and was derided by many marketing scholars. This biophobia (fear 
of biology in explaining human phenomena) has been a recurring form of 
science denialism that I’ve experienced throughout my academic career. 

Beyond being purveyors of anti-science (postmodernism) and science 
denialism (biophobia), universities serve as patient zero for a broad range of 
other dreadfully bad ideas and movements. In the immortal words of George 
Orwell, “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no 
ordinary man could be such a fool.”” The proliferation of many of these bad 
ideas has yielded reward mechanisms in academia that are upside down. The 
herd mindset is rewarded. Innovative thinkers are chastised. “Stay in your 
lane” academics are rewarded. Outspoken academics are punished. Hyper- 
specialization is rewarded. Broad synthetic thinking is scorned. Every quality 
that should define intellectual courage is viewed as a problem. Anything that 
adheres to leftist tenets of progressivism is rewarded. Those who believe in 
equality of outcomes receive top-paying administrative jobs. Those who 
believe in meritocracy are frowned upon. If they go unchecked, parasitic idea 
pathogens, spawned by universities, eventually start to infect every aspect of 
our society. 

Idea Pathogens as Parasites of the Human Mind 

When asked which animal they fear most, the great majority of people are 
likely to either mention a large predator (great white shark, crocodile, lion, 
bear) or perhaps scorpions, spiders, or snakes (humans have evolved a 
preparedness to learn such phobias). Conspicuously absent from any such 
list is the animal that has killed by far the greatest number of humans 
throughout history: the lethal mosquito. I happen to suffer from a deep 
phobia of mosquitoes. The number of nights that I have kept my wife awake 
in a hotel room (typically on a Caribbean vacation) as we’ve hunted an 
elusive mosquito is considerable. I often remind my wife that this is a 

perfectly adaptive phobia. It makes a lot more sense to fear the mosquito 
than to obsess about an attack by a great white shark. Mosquitoes kill by 
transmitting to their victims one of several deadly biological pathogens 
including yellow fever (virus) and malaria (parasite). More generally, one of 
the greatest threats that humans have faced throughout our evolutionary 
history is exposure to a broad range of pathogens including tuberculosis 
(bacterium), leprosy (bacterium), cholera (bacterium), bubonic plague 
(bacterium), polio (virus), influenza (virus), smallpox (virus), HIV (virus), 
and Ebola (virus). The good news is that we have found ways to temper if 
not eradicate many of these dangers with improved hygiene and sanitation, 
vaccines, and at times easy to implement solutions such as mosquito nets. 

The central focus of this book is to explore another set of pathogens that 
are potentially as dangerous to the human condition: parasitic pathogens of 
the human mind. These are composed of thought patterns, belief systems, 
attitudes, and mindsets that parasitize one’s ability to think properly and 
accurately. Once these mind viruses take hold of one’s neuronal circuitry, 
the afflicted victim loses the ability to use reason, logic, and science to 
navigate the world. Instead, one sinks into an abyss of infinite lunacy best 
defined by a dogged and proud departure from reality, common sense, and 
truth. While parasites can target and reside in different body parts, 
neuroparasitology deals with the class of cerebral parasites that manipulate 
hosts’ behaviors in different ways. The animal kingdom is replete with 
examples of biological pathogens that, once they infect an organism’s brain, 
yield some rather macabre outcomes including a host’s reproductive death 
(parasitic castration) if not actual death (hosts commit suicide in the service 
of the parasite). Take for example the spider wasp, which engages in a truly 
morbid behavior. It stings a much larger spider rendering it in a zombie-like 
state at which point the wasp drags it to a burrow and lays its eggs on it.* The 
offspring eventually devour the hapless spider in vivo. Parelaphostrongylus 
tenuis is a parasite that infects the brains of ungulates (moose, deer, elk) 
causing afflicted animals to at times engage in circling behavior (going 
around in a small circle endlessly). This robotic behavior will continue even 
as looming predators approach the ill-fated animal. A third example of a 
brain parasite is toxoplasma gondii, which when it infects a mouse’s brain 
causes it to lose its otherwise adaptive fear of cats. Finally, nematomorpha 
constitute a class of suicide-inducing parasites that afflict a broad range of 
insects including crickets, cockroaches, and praying mantises. For example, 

the Gordian worm gets its host (cricket) to jump into a body of water (which 
it would usually avoid) so that the parasite can leave its host’s body and look 
for a mate.” In the same way that brain parasites have evolved to take 
advantage of their hosts in the furtherance of their evolutionary objectives, 
parasitic viruses of the human mind (devastatingly bad ideas) function in a 
similar manner. They parasitize human minds, rendering them impervious 
to critical thinking, while finding clever ways to spread across a given 
population (for example, getting students to enroll in women’s studies 

Some of the parasitic viruses of the human mind that I tackle include 
postmodernism, radical feminism, and social constructivism, all of which 
largely flourish within one infected ecosystem: the university. While each 
mind virus constitutes a different strain of lunacy, they are all bound by the 
full rejection of reality and common sense (postmodernism rejects the 
existence of objective truths; radical feminism scoffs at the idea of innate 
biologically-based sex differences; and social constructivism posits that the 
human mind starts off as an empty slate largely void of biological 
blueprints). This general class of mind viruses is what I have coined Ostrich 
Parasitic Syndrome (OPS), namely various forms of disordered thinking that 
lead afflicted individuals to reject fundamental truths and realities that are as 
evident as the pull of gravity. In a similar vein to how all forms of cancer 
share a mechanism of unchecked cell division, these mind viruses all reject 
truth in the defense of a pet ideology. The ideological tribe to which one 
belongs varies across the mind viruses, but the commitment is always to the 
defense of one’s dogma—truth and science be damned. All is not lost 
though. OPS need not be a terminal disease of the human mind. Recall that 
many biological pathogens are defeated by targeted intervention strategies 
(like the polio vaccine). The same applies to those afflicted with OPS and 
associated mind viruses. The inoculation against such cancerous mindsets 
comes in the form of a two-step cognitive vaccine: 1) providing OPS 
sufferers with accurate information, and 2) ensuring that OPS sufferers learn 
how to process information according to the evidentiary rules of science and 

In his 1976 classic The Selfish Gene, evolutionary biologist Richard 
Dawkins famously introduced the concept of the meme to our public 
consciousness. Memes are packets of information that spread from one 

brain to another.'° In reading this book, your brain is infected by my 
memes. If you then discuss my ideas within your social circle, my memes are 
further propagated. Not all memes are created equal though, be it in terms of 
their valence (positive, neutral, or negative) or their virulence (how quickly 
they spread). The ice bucket campaign to combat amyotrophic lateral 
sclerosis (colloquially known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) yielded rapidly viral 
YouTube clips, all in the pursuit of a worthy cause. On the other hand, other 
memes might take longer to spread (for instance, a death-cult religious 
belief) though they yield astonishingly dire consequences (convincing people 
that it is a divine act to fly airplanes into skyscrapers). From this perspective, 
OPS is a memetic disease of the human mind. When facing a pathogenic 
epidemic, we call on modern-day dragon slayers, namely infectious disease 
specialists and epidemiologists to intervene. They defend us against a broad 
range of monstrous pathogens dead set on infecting us. Part of their job 
description is to understand where a pathogen originates, the manner and 
speed by which it spreads, the identity of the first person to be infected 
(patient zero), and how to eradicate it. This is precisely the approach that 
must be taken in defeating parasitic viruses of the human mind. Where do 
these infectiously bad ideas come from? How are they spread? Which 
ecosystem do they flourish in? How do we inoculate people against their 
devastating effects? That is the task of this book. It is an exploration of the 
epidemiology of mind pathogens and the intervention strategies that will 
allow us to wrestle back reason from the enemies of truth. 

Death of the West by a Thousand Cuts 

The greatness of the West stems in part from its protection of 
fundamental freedoms and its commitment to reason and the scientific 
method (where appropriate). Over the past few decades though, several 
nefarious forces have slowly eroded the West’s commitment to reason, 
science, and the values of the Enlightenment (see Figure 1 below). Such 
forces include political correctness (as enforced by the thought police, the 
language police, and social justice warriors), postmodernism, radical 
feminism, social constructivism, cultural and moral relativism, and the 
culture of perpetual offense and victimhood (microaggressions, trigger 
warnings, and safe spaces on campuses, as well as identity politics). This has 
created an environment that has stifled public discourse in a myriad of ways. 

Academics shy away from investigating so-called forbidden topics (such as 
sex differences or racial differences) lest they be accused of being rabidly 
sexist or racist. Professors are intimidated into using nonsensical gender 
pronouns when addressing students lest they otherwise be committing a 
hate crime (see for instance Canada’s Bill C-16). University students demand 
that they be “protected” from ideas that are antithetical to their own while 
being warned by administrators about wearing “offensive” Halloween 
costumes. Politicians are fearful to critique Islam or open-border 
immigration policies lest they be accused of being bigots. More generally, 
people are deathly afraid to espouse any opinion that might get them 
ostracized from the politically correct club (try being a conservative 
Republican in Hollywood or on a university campus). These trepidations are 
weakening our culture because we are no longer able to talk with one 
another using rational and reasoned discourse that is otherwise free from a 
dogmatic and tribal mindset. In this book, I set out to describe the 
confluence of forces that are endangering the West’s commitment to 
freedom, reason, and true liberalism (hence, the death of the West by a 
thousand cuts). Ultimately, any attempt to limit what individuals can think 
or say weakens the defining ethos of the West, namely the unfettered 
commitment to the pursuit of truth unencumbered by the shackles of the 
thought police. 





Figure 1. Death of the West by a Thousand Cuts 

A few books have addressed the spread of anti-intellectual, anti-reason, 

anti-science, and anti-liberal sentiment!! and the specific movements that 
give rise to them (postmodernism, radical feminism, multiculturalism as a 

political philosophy, and identity politics).!* This book weaves together all of 

these nefarious forces, along with new ones, to explain how they gave rise to 
the current stifling political correctness, which is enforced by the thought 
police along with its army of social justice warriors (a recent phenomenon). 
It offers an up-to-date examination of the current cultural zeitgeist on 
campuses and in public discourse. Finally, it highlights how these anti- 
freedom, anti-honesty movements have substantive consequences in the real 
world. They explain the West’s inability to have a frank and reasoned 
discussion about the place of Islam within our secular, liberal, and modern 
societies. They also help explain the popular reaction against political 
correctness—and its threats to freedom and honesty—that we saw in the 
stunning ascendancy of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United 

Unless we win the battle of ideas, the enemies of reason, along with the 
mind viruses that they promulgate, will lead our free societies to lunatic self- 


Thinking versus Feeling, Truth versus Hurt 

“Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can 
never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.” 

—David Hume! 

“ always felt that a scientist owes the world only one thing, and that 
is the truth as he sees it. If the truth contradicts deeply held beliefs, 
that is too bad. Tact and diplomacy are fine in international 
relations, in politics, perhaps even in business; in science only one 
thing matters, and that is the facts.” 

—Hans J. Eysenck” 

In describing a debate on the existence of God with Doug Geivett, currently 
a professor of philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology of Biola 
University, my good friend and founder of The Skeptics Society Michael 
Shermer remarked: 

Geivett concluded his initial presentation by explaining that we are 
confronted here with an either-or-choice: Either God exists or He 
does not; either the universe was created or it was not; either life 
was designed or it was not; either morality is natural or it is not; 
either Jesus was resurrected or he was not. 

I opened up my rebuttal by explaining that there are only two 
types of theories: Those that divide the world into two types of 

theories, and those that do not.’ 

Shermer’s brilliant levity carries an important epistemological message— 
namely that the pursuit of knowledge does not always neatly fit into clean 

dichotomies. The penchant of many researchers to map phenomena onto 
binary realities is what I’ve coined epistemological dichotomania.* It stems 
from a desire to create a workable and simplified view of the world that is 
amenable to scientific testing. Of note, the dichotomies are at times largely 
false such as the nature-nurture debate. In the words of the biologist Matt 


Ridley, “Nature versus nurture is dead.”” Much of who we are arises from an 

indissoluble amalgam of our genes and our environments.° Furthermore, 
universal patterns of socialization (nurture) exist in their forms because of 
biological imperatives (nature). The desire to divide the world into binary 
forms is at the root of the thinking versus feeling dichotomy, and this creates 
a false either-or mindset. We are both thinking and feeling animals. The 
challenge is to know when to activate the cognitive (thinking) versus the 

affective (feeling) systems. 

When you think of perfume commercials, what comes to mind? You are 
unlikely to see a Harvard chemist in a lab coat explaining the chemical 
equation of the aromatic recipe used in making the product. Similarly, the 
brand’s name is unlikely to be a technical name such as Anisaldehyde- 
Eugenol X2000. Instead, the typical perfume commercial sells sex, romance, 
fantasy, and passion. A beautiful woman with long flowing hair might be 
shown riding a horse followed by a one-word brand name such as Obsession, 
Escape, Allure, Mystére, or Désir (all actual brand names). Perfumes are 
hedonic products, and as such they must engage our emotions. If one were 
designing a commercial for a mutual fund, the commercial’s content as well 
as the fund’s brand name would be radically different. In this case, given that 
a mutual fund is a functional and utilitarian product, the commercial must 
engage the viewer’s cognitive system. A beautiful endorser might convince 
you to purchase a perfume but not to invest in a mutual fund. The 
Elaboration Likelihood Model posits that consumers use one of two routes 
of persuasion when processing a message.’ The central route involves 
cognitive effort, namely the consumer will carefully evaluate the message’s 
substantive informational content (such as the seven reasons why a 
particular mutual fund is the best one to invest in). The peripheral route on 
the other hand relies on the use of non-substantive cues in arriving at an 
attitude (using an endorser’s physical attractiveness in forming an attitude 
toward investing in a mutual fund). In this case, the peripheral cue is not 
directly relevant in judging the logical merits of the message. The route that 

is activated depends on a consumer’s motivation and ability to process 
information. Generally speaking, an attitude wherein the affective and 
cognitive components are consistent with one another will be more resistant 
to change (see for example Rosenberg’s affective-cognitive consistency 
model’). The negative hysteria surrounding Donald Trump is rooted in 
peripheral processing (“his mannerisms disgust me”). Trump’s detractors 
should perhaps be spending more effort engaging their central route of 
persuasion by evaluating his policy positions in a dispassionate and detached 

Hierarchy of effects models have been used in marketing and advertising 
to describe the cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling), and conative 
(behavioral) stages that consumers go through after seeing or hearing an 
advertisement. Products that require a high level of involvement (choosing a 
mutual fund) will have a different sequence of effects from their low- 
involvement counterparts (buying a candy bar). For the former, the 
operative sequence is thinking—feeling—behavior: an informed opinion leads 
to liking the product; hence, its purchase. On the other hand, for impulse 
products it is feeling—-behavior-thinking: a positive feeling leads to an 
impulse purchase, and the opinion is formed post-purchase. Inherent to the 
various sequences is the recognition that both cognition and emotions 
matter in the decision-making process. In other words, we do not need to 
construe thinking and feeling as antithetical to one another. They are both 
fundamental components of decision-making. Problems arise when we use 
the wrong sequence to make a decision. For example, choosing which 
presidential candidate to vote for should be construed as a high-involvement 
decision, and accordingly a rational voter should first engage his cognitive 
system rather than his affective system. And yet, many hysterical anti- 
Trump voters begin with a visceral emotional hatred of the man and then 
process subsequent information in a manner that supports their a priori 
affective position. 

The classic saying “don’t let your emotions get the best of you,” is an apt 
descriptor of how many people regard sound decision-making. From this 
perspective, a rational person thinks; an irrational person feels. Classical 
economists have traditionally thought of human beings as hyper-rational 
agents who make cost-benefit decisions. The archetype of a good decision- 
maker is Mr. Spock from Star Trek: a hyper-logical agent without emotional 

distractions. I recall an address by the economist George Loewenstein at the 
1995 International Association for Research in Economic Psychology 
Conference in Bergen, Norway, wherein he implored economists to 
incorporate visceral states such as lust, anger, hunger, and fear into our 
understanding of human decision-making. In listening to his lecture, I kept 
thinking: “No kidding! Who doesn’t know this?” As a young assistant 
professor at the time, I was astonished that this should be news to anyone, let 
alone to sophisticated economic psychologists. It seems self-evident to me 
that it is perfectly rational to be an emotional being, when one’s emotions 
are applied in the proper context. 

Emotions such as happiness, fear, lust, disgust, or envy serve as solutions 
to recurring evolutionary challenges that our ancestors have faced.” Take 
romantic jealousy. Which of the following two scenarios is more emotionally 
painful for you to imagine: Your spouse committing sexual infidelity or 
committing emotional infidelity? Evolutionary psychologist David Buss and 
his colleagues showed that men respond more harshly to sexual infidelity (as 
this raises a fear of uncertain paternity about children), while women are 
more upset by emotional infidelity (as this serves as a greater predictor of a 
man’s lack of commitment to a long-term union).!° Men and women 
respond to infidelity according to the mating challenges of their sex. The 
triggered emotions are perfectly rational when viewed through an 
evolutionary lens. 

In his 2011 bestselling book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel laureate 
Daniel Kahneman argued that humans are endowed with two systems of 
thinking: System 1 composed of fast, intuitive, automatic, unconscious, 
emotional, and instinctive processes; and System 2 made up of slow, 
deliberate, analytical, logical, and conscious processes. It is hardly surprising 
that humans are endowed with the capacity to use a broad range of cognitive 
and affective strategies when making decisions. Nor is it surprising that 
people differ in the extent to which they rely on feelings versus thinking 
when making choices. The problem arises when domains that should be 
reserved for the intellect are hijacked by feelings. This is precisely what 
plagues our universities: what were once centers of intellectual development 
have become retreats for the emotionally fragile. The driving motto of the 
university is no longer the pursuit of truth but the coddling of hurt feelings. 

Truth versus Hurt Feelings 

On October 15, 2017, with Wikipedia as my research tool, I conducted a 
quick, and obviously informal, analysis of university mottos. I found that 
there were one hundred twenty-eight matches for the word truth, forty-six 
matches for the word wisdom, sixty-one matches for the word science and 
zero matches for the words emotion or feeling. For example, Harvard’s motto 
is Veritas (truth) and Yale’s is Lux et veritas (light and truth). These 
venerable institutions of higher learning were not founded on an ethos of 
feelings but on the dogged pursuit of truth. And yet, across all our 
institutions—from universities to the media to the judicial system to the 
political arena—truth is increasingly taking a back seat to feelings. This is 
true in the United States, it is true in Canada, and it is true across most of the 
western world. 

An extraordinarily chilling and instructive example of this dreadful trend 
occurred in the Netherlands in 2010. Geert Wilders, a Dutch 
parliamentarian, was charged with a slew of crimes for having the temerity 
to criticize Islam and its growing influence in his country. Any freedom- 
loving reader should be appalled that criticism of a religion is now 
considered hate speech in many Western countries. As part of his defense 
strategy, Mr. Wilders sought to call on expert witnesses to validate the 
veracity of his stated public positions. The response from the prosecutor’s 
office (Openbaar ministerie) was truly breathtaking: “It is irrelevant whether 
Wilders’s witnesses might prove Wilders’s observations to be correct. What’s 

relevant is that his observations are illegal.”!” In a free society, people should 
have the right to criticize a religion; they should have the right to do so, and 
of course their criticisms are themselves open to criticism; that is the essence 
of freedom of speech and thought. In this case, the prosecution was beyond 
Orwellian, stating flatly that telling the truth could be illegal. This mindset is 
increasingly prevalent in academia, and it falls under the rubric of forbidden 

knowledge (see the recent case of Noah Carl who dared to support 

researchers’ right to study the relationship between race and intelligence). 

In August 2017, I made my fifth appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. 
For those of you unfamiliar with the podcast, it is a conversational marathon 
that typically lasts just shy of three hours. During our conversation, Joe 
asked me about the scientific pursuit of potentially sensitive topics. Here is 
the relevant excerpt: 

Me: When I was on Sam Harris’s show you know earlier this year 
about six or seven months ago, he asked me: “Is there any research 
question that you would not tackle in your scientific career, that is 
too taboo?” And my answer is “no.” As long as you address the 
question honestly and objectively there is nothing that should be 
off limits. Because then it becomes very easy to say “sex 
differences, we shouldn’t study that because it might marginalize 
one sex or the other. Race differences, we shouldn’t study them for 
the same reasons” and so on. That becomes forbidden knowledge. 
No. The highest ideal that any honest person should pursue is the 
pursuit of truth.... So don’t be encumbered by political 
correctness, just pursue the truth. And I think that one of the 
reasons that Jordan Peterson’s message and my message have 
resonated now with a lot of people is because at least they see that 
we are ascribing to that ideal to the best of our abilities. 

Rogan: What if that truth hurts your feelings? 
Me: Fuck your feelings. 
Rogan: [Gasping] Oooohhhh! 

There are two fundamental ethical orientations that guide people’s daily 
behaviors: deontological and consequentialist ethics. The former is an 
absolutist view of ethical standards (it is never correct to lie) whereas the 
latter evaluates the ethical merits of an action based on its consequences (it is 
at times acceptable to lie to spare someone’s feelings). The reality is that 
most people operate under both systems. For example, if your wife asks you 
if she looks overweight, you will likely utter “no” without flinching, whatever 
you actually think. On the other hand, most people consider it morally 
wrong under all circumstances to make sexual advances on children. A 
deontological view regarding the pursuit of truth asserts that it is never 
justified to violate or suppress the truth. A consequentialist perspective 
asserts that the truth must at times be altered, fudged, or suppressed to avert 
such bad consequences as hurt feelings. Much of the lunacy that we see from 
the “progressive” camp is a result of consequentialism when it comes to the 

Any human endeavor rooted in the pursuit of truth must rely on facts 
and not feelings. Legal proceedings constitute one such domain. We do not 
establish the innocence or guilt of defendants using feelings; rather, we rely 
on a broad range of available facts in making a case. The threshold for 
establishing guilt is set purposely high: the cumulative evidence must be 
beyond a reasonable doubt to convict someone. The evidentiary threshold 
for uncovering scientific truths is even more stringent than those expected 
within the legal arena. 

One problem we face today is that consequentialists make a virtue of 
having emotions cloud our judgments, not only to avoid hurt feelings but 
because emotion is seen as a sign of authenticity. As British prison 
psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple observed: “[I]s it not the case that we live 
in an age of emotional incontinence, when they who emote the most are 
believed to feel the most?”!* Remember though that one’s heartfelt outrage 
seldom says anything about the truth or falsehood of one’s position. 

Donald Trump Is Going to End the World 

When Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential election, I was 
bewildered at the mass psychogenic hysteria that engulfed my academic 
colleagues and the great majority of folks within my social circle. The stock 
market was going to crash and never recover. Trump was going to abolish 
democracy. Minorities were going to be endangered. He was about to usher 
in a nuclear holocaust. His supposed ties to white supremacists would 
marshal a new wave of genocidal anti-Semitism across North America. I 
decided to satirize this profound idiocy by releasing a clip on my YouTube 
channel showing me hiding under the table (in my study) to avoid being 
caught by Trump’s Jew-hating death squads. . I have since released several 
other installments of “hiding under the table” clips, including one upon the 
confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, and 
another shortly prior to hosting Professor Rachel Fulton Brown on my show. 
She had the “audacity” to write a blog post that lauded white men (since they 
were instrumental in leading the charge in founding the emancipatory 
freedoms that we now possess in the West, including women’s rights).'° This 
led to her being accused of being a white supremacist and a merchant of hate 
by many of her colleagues, including Professor Dorothy Kim, who was 

supposedly existentially threatened by Brown’s remarks since Kim is a 
“person of color.”!” 

What explains such irrational hysteria especially when promulgated by 
supposedly sophisticated academics? [ve argued that Donald Trump 
represents a deep and visceral aesthetic injury to the sensibilities of those 
who reside in the highfalutin ivory tower. Trump is the antithesis of the 
restrained diplomat who delivers polished and seemingly eloquent messages 
of platitudinous hope. Can you think of a recent U.S. president who was a 
world champion at delivering such messages and who was revered by the 
intelligentsia as the last and final messiah? Perhaps a hint might prove 
helpful: that president won a Nobel Peace Prize largely for having enriched 
the world with his message of love, peace, and hope. The nominations 
deadline for the prize was eleven days after he was inaugurated. As such, his 
Nobel Prize was awarded for “accomplishments” that he achieved prior to 
becoming president. Some people win Nobel Prizes by being held prisoner 
for twenty-seven years in their quest to fight apartheid (Nelson Mandela). 
Others win it for sporting a winning, radiant smile of sunny hope. They are 
equally worthy winners, and if you think otherwise you are a racist. Barack 
Obama is majestic in his personal style. He is tall, thin, and elegant. His 
elocution and speech cadence are melodious. He is polished in a way that 
appeals to those who become drunk by merely smelling the cork of a wine 
bottle (an Arabic expression). Donald Trump on the other hand is a brash 
and cantankerous brawler. The unhinged “progressives,” best exemplified by 
the utterly deranged Robert De Niro, are irrevocably and perpetually 
outraged by him. They are viscerally disgusted. They possess no theory of 
mind that might allow them to place themselves in the shoes of the nearly 63 
million Americans who voted for Trump. Perhaps the ensuing analysis 
might help them see the light. 

Subsequent to the historic political upset that shook the world, I 
witnessed innumerable people, many of whom are supposedly rational and 
educated individuals, aping Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” position. 
According to this viewpoint many of the nearly 63 million people who voted 
for Donald Trump are racist, toothless, redneck simpletons who sleep with 
their siblings. Of course, nowhere was this perspective more rampant than in 
the halls of academia. It is bafflingly moronic that sophisticated intellectuals 
could actually believe such nonsense. I offer an alternative account to 

explain Trump’s victory using principles from behavioral decision theory.'® 
In short, if your average voter had five key issues in mind, scored each 
candidate on them, and weighted them in order of importance, it was easy to 
understand how perfectly reasonable and rational people might have voted 
for Donald Trump without being deplorable bigots. Or take a much simpler 
decision process, the Lexicographic Rule, which states that a voter will solely 
examine the issue most important to him and choose the candidate who 
scores higher on it. It is perfectly conceivable that if a voter were using this 
tule, he could have voted for Trump in a multitude of possible ways.!? Those 
who viscerally hated Trump could not see that on issues ranging from 
immigration policy to tax policy to regulatory policy to trade policy to 
foreign policy to the appointment of federal judges, Trump took positions 
that appealed to many thinking Americans who wanted, for instance, 
stronger border enforcement, an “America First” foreign policy and trade 
agreements, “constitutionalist” judges, and deregulation and tax cuts. Trump 
campaigned on these policies, while Hillary’s campaign focused on the evil 
of the Orange Man Bad (and his supporters). Those suffering from Trump 
Derangement Syndrome cannot see that for 63 million Americans, voting 
for Trump was an obviously rational decision. 

The Brett Kavanaugh Debacle 

Oftentimes when I comment about American politics, 1 remind people 
that ’'m Canadian and do not have a dog in that fight. My positions are 
always based on first principles and are not in the least bit biased by a desire 
to be loyal to any political tribe. As an impartial observer of the Brett 
Kavanaugh affair, I was bewildered by the duplicity of Democrat politicians 
and their eagerness to dispense with a presumption of innocence as a non- 
negotiable legal standard (in a twist of gargantuan Democratic hypocrisy, 
the outlandish #BelieveAllWomen tenet apparently does not apply to the 
more credible accusation recently levied against Joe Biden). Several decades 
of scientific research have cast doubt on the accuracy of eyewitness 
testimony and the accuracy of human memory in legal settings.”” And yet, 
Democrat politicians were perfectly willing to ignore first principles 
(including a presumption of innocence) and a large corpus of scientific 
evidence and instead were decidedly eager to unequivocally believe 
testimony about an event that may or may not have taken place nearly four 

decades earlier. Political tribalism fueled by emotional indignation 
superseded logic, science, and reason. Once it became evident that the FBI 
could not uncover any corroborative evidence in support of Christine Blasey 
Ford’s accusation, the Democrats moved the goalposts. The new deal- 
breaker regarding Kavanaugh’s candidacy was his supposed lack of “judicial 
temperament.” He was too emotionally labile, too unhinged to be a sober 
member of the highest court in the land. In other words, his detractors were 
now arguing that he did not possess the appropriate disposition to be a 
Supreme Court justice. His righteous indignation and justifiable disgust 
were not attributed to the situation at hand but were wrongly placed on the 
shoulders of his innate character. This is precisely what psychologists refer 
to as the fundamental attribution error, namely exaggerating the extent to 
which an individual’s internal traits (his personality) are responsible for an 
observed reality while failing to take the circumstances into account. In the 
case of Kavanaugh, he was accused of horrifying crimes (without any 
concrete evidence) that were devastating to his personal and professional 
reputation. Imagine his having to explain these accusations to his wife and 
young daughters. His irate impatience when interacting with some of the 
Democrat senators was not properly attributed to the grotesque injustice 
that had been levied against him, but to his “volatile” personality. I doubt 
that this misattribution was anything but willful on the part of his detractors. 

I have faced a similar misattribution whenever I’ve rolled up my sleeves 
and gone after someone forcefully on social media (typically on Twitter). I 
let loose and accordingly engage in rhetorical sparring that at times can be 
quite spicy, albeit nearly always in the spirit of fun jabbing. It always amazes 
me when some buffoon writes me to share his surprise at my “belligerent” 
disposition after having seen how restrained, polite, and warm I appear in 
countless other settings. Well, how I might respond if accosted by violent 
muggers in a dark alley is radically different from how I behave when 
affectionately tucking my young children to bed. My personality does not 
magically change across the two scenarios; the situation does. Returning to 
the Kavanaugh case, no fair-minded individual could fail to attribute his 
understandable anger to anything but the situation at hand, and yet the 
Democrats placed the full blame on Kavanaugh’s “intemperate” 
temperament. In a ploy that would make Sigmund Freud beam with pride, 
the Democrats managed to project their emotional hysteria onto Kavanaugh. 

I'm Outraged! I'm Offended! 

In 2005, Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard University, 
delivered a lecture at the National Bureau of Economic Research Conference 
on diversifying the science and engineering workforce.”' During his talk, he 
intimated the possibility that intrinsic sex differences might explain why 
women are underrepresented in these disciplines. Notwithstanding the fact 
that there are robust findings in the scientific literature that supported his 
contentions, he had committed a fatal error. To argue that men and women 
might exhibit dispositional differences is blasphemous within most halls of 
academia. Despite the fact that world-renowned Harvard psychologist 
Steven Pinker defended Summers’s positions, he was forced to resign from 
Harvard. Shortly after Summers’s lecture, The Harvard Crimson (a student 
newspaper) asked Pinker, “Were President Summers’s remarks within the 
pale of legitimate academic discourse?” to which the psychologist brilliantly 
replied “Good grief, shouldn’t everything be within the pale of legitimate 
academic discourse, as long as it is presented with some degree of rigor? 
That’s the difference between a university and a madrassa.””” Incidentally, 
that there are fewer female faculty members in STEM fields is hardly due to 
sexist hiring practices. The exact opposite holds true as evidenced by the 2:1 
preference exhibited by both male and female faculty members for 
prospective female hires (in comparison to equally well qualified male 
candidates).”* And yet, the victimhood narrative persists, unencumbered by 

In July 2017, I delivered a lecture at the prestigious Talks at Google series 
in Mountain View (the main Google campus) on my scientific work at the 
intersection of evolutionary psychology and consumer behavior.”* Shortly 
thereafter, the now infamous Google memo written by James Damore went 
viral. In it, Damore argued that innate sex differences might explain why 
women were less likely to be interested in a career in high tech. Some 
thought that Damore had attended my Google lecture and that it might have 
emboldened him to release the memo. Alas, he confirmed to me that he was 
away in China when I had delivered my talk. Shortly after the memo went 
viral, Damore and I had our first communication, which was to set up a chat 
on my show. In a truly Orwellian moment, I was advised that if 1 wanted my 
Google lecture to be seen on the Internet, I should wait until it was uploaded 

on the Google platform before I interviewed Damore.”° In any case, Damore 

was fired by Google despite the fact that Google had expressly solicited 
comment on their diversity policies—and notwithstanding that Damore’s 
positions were well supported by the scientific literature.”° If the truth hurts, 
it must be suppressed for the sake of diversity, inclusion, equity, and of 
course community cohesion. 

Still, apparently not all academics have received the memo that scientific 
data cannot be used to question a politically correct narrative. Alessandro 
Strumia, a professor of physics at the University of Pisa and a fellow at 
CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) learned this lesson 
the hard way.” He delivered a lecture at an inaugural event organized by 
CERN titled “Workshop on High Energy Theory and Gender.” He presented 
several bibliometric analyses that questioned the prevailing victimhood 
narrative in physics, namely that women were discriminated against. For 
example, he found that across eighteen countries, men had an 
extraordinarily higher number of citations than women when being hired 
for the same position (ratios of male-to-female citations across the countries 
varied from 2.96:1 to 12.5:1). It would be perfectly reasonable to challenge 
his conclusions if one had competing data to present, but he was 
condemned, essentially, as a blasphemer and metaphorically burned at the 
stake. Several thousand scientists under the obnoxious banner of Particles for 
Justice signed a statement condemning Strumia.” Their statement of 
condemnation contained countless misrepresentations unbefitting of 
supposedly unbiased and objective scientists including the following lead 
sentence [bold in original] of the second paragraph: “We write here first to 
state, in the strongest possible terms, that the humanity of any person, 
regardless of ascribed identities such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, 
religion, disability, gender presentation, or sexual identity is not up for 
debate.” This is a grotesquely dishonest tactic as Strumia did not question 
anyone’s humanity let alone mention any of the listed identities. 

A powerful and brilliant rebuttal letter to that statement was penned by a 
physicist and published in Areo Magazine.” The letter is precisely what one 
might expect of an intellectually honest and non-hysterical academic. It lays 
out the logical and scientific errors in the statement as well as many of the 
mischaracterizations of Strumia’s positions. It also conceded, even- 
handedly, that Strumia had, on occasion, been less than collegial. The long 


rebuttal was published anonymously because the author felt that 

anonymity is the wisest course. Although I am a genuinely liberal person, 
and although I have striven to be fair and conscientious, I fear attaching my 
name could harm my career and my relationships. I know there are many 
other physicists who were also put off by the polemical nature of the 
response, and who would at least be willing to discuss these things privately, 
but the social atmosphere is toxic right now.” 

That this physicist felt the need to publish his rebuttal anonymously is the 
most important take away from this whole debacle. While I commend the 
author for writing such a trenchant reply, I admonish him for lacking the 
testicular fortitude to channel his inner Martin Luther: Here I S tand.*° I have 
weighed in on countless occasions about the Strumia case, including inviting 
him for a chat on my show and have commented about matters that are 
extraordinarily more fear-inducing than this matter (such as critiquing 
Islam), and I’ve never done so under the cloak of anonymity.*! An honest 
signal of one’s commitment to truth, reason, and justice must be costly for it 
to carry any weight. Still, one can understand the temptation of anonymity. 
A new journal, The Journal of Controversial Ideas, has announced that it will 
permit authors to publish their works under pseudonyms.” The journal has 
many leading academics on its board, but that such a journal is required in 
supposedly free societies in the twenty-first century speaks volumes about 
the extent to which we are approaching the abyss of infinite intellectual 

That darkness will not be lightened by humor because jokes and levity are 
also forbidden by “progressives” in academia. Sir Tim Hunt, a 2001 Nobel 
Prize winner, was giving a toast at the 2015 World Conference of Science 
Journalists in Seoul, South Korea, when he jokingly referred to the emotional 
predicaments that take place in mixed-sex labs: “Let me tell you about my 
trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab. You fall in 
love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they 
cry.” He then facetiously recommended same-sex labs to eliminate such 
pitfalls. The tsunami of outrage was swift and deadly. He was forced to 
resign from University College London and from the European Research 
Council.*? It did not matter that many leading female scientists came to his 
defense, as did Richard Dawkins, a scientist and one of Britain’s leading 
public intellectuals.** The reputation of this extraordinarily accomplished 
scientist who had been a champion of women’s participation in science for 

several decades was shattered because of flippant comments made during a 
toast. That his own wife is a prominent scientist and a feminist did not give 
pause to the perpetually faux-outraged and their lust for blood. 

Lazar Greenfield is a distinguished surgeon with a long list of scientific 
and clinical accomplishments. While serving as editor-in-chief of Surgery 
News, he authored an editorial in 2011 discussing research that women 
exposed to sperm via unprotected coitus had lower depression scores than 
their counterparts who engaged in protected sex.”> Greenfield concluded 
with a quip: “So there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St. 
Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there’s a better gift for 
that day than chocolates.” Cue the Taliban of faux-outrage. This monster 
had to pay for his unforgivable humor. He was forced to resign as editor of 
Surgery News as well as step down as president-elect of the American College 
of Surgeons.*° Steven Platek, whom I know well, and who is one of the three 
authors of the paper that Greenfield had cited, penned a reply letter on 
behalf of his collaborators: “How can someone be asked to resign for citing a 
peer-reviewed paper? Dr. Greenfield was forced to resign based on politics, 
not evidence. His resignation is more a reflection of the feminist and anti- 
scientific attitudes of some self-righteous and indignant members of the 
American College of Surgeons. Science is based on evidence, not politics. In 
science knowing is always preferable to not knowing.”*” But today in 
academia, progressive ideology trumps scientific facts. 

Matt Taylor is another scientist who crossed paths with the perpetually 
offended and rabidly outraged. In 2014, while being interviewed during a 
livestream about a breathtaking accomplishment of human ingenuity, he 
wore a rather obnoxious and frankly inappropriate shirt that included 
drawings of scantily clad women in various poses.*® Taylor had been 
working for the European Space Agency as an astrophysicist and was part of 
the team that landed the Philae probe on a rapidly moving comet located 
nearly 300 million miles away from our planet. The scientific and 
engineering expertise needed to pull off such a feat is truly astounding. This 
should have been his crowning moment. Alas, he is more likely to be 
remembered for his sartorial crime and his subsequent sobbing apology than 
for a truly momentous achievement. Of note, the shirt was made by Elly 
Prizeman, a female friend who had given it to Taylor as a gift. When 
interviewed about the matter, she replied: “Everyone is entitled to have an 

opinion. We would all be very boring if we felt the same way about 
everything. I can see both sides of the coin in this debate, but as it is a style I 
am into, I don’t see it as offensive. But that is just my view. It is up to us to 

empower ourselves. We can achieve anything we want to if we have the skills 

and put our minds to it. 

The angry feminists who are willing to ruin the career of an accomplished 
scientist because of his idiotic shirt choice are also the ones likely to argue 
that the male gaze is a form of “visual rape.” They are the ones who posit 
that the patriarchy promulgates a beauty myth that compels women to 
beautify themselves. When parasitized by such a conspiratorial and 
delusional mindset, the bikini becomes a sexist tool of the patriarchy 
whereas the burqa is liberating and freeing since it averts the male gaze.*” To 
satirize this astonishing departure from reason I began to use the 
#FreedomVeils hashtag in reference to this garb. Religious attire such as the 
hijab, niqab, and burqa that stem from profoundly patriarchal societies and 
are imposed on millions of women, are liberating according to many 
Western feminists. Bikinis, which under second-wave feminism might be 
construed as empowering if used in the pursuit of sexual liberation, 
apparently are manifestations of the West’s patriarchal misogyny. To 
recapitulate, bikinis, cosmetics, and miniskirts are bad. Shirts with whimsical 
drawings of scantily clad women are a capital offence. The burqa, niqab, and 
hijab represent feminist liberation from the male gaze. No satire can 
compete with progressive buffoonery. 

During my appearance on Sam Harris’s podcast, I recounted how my 
wife and I had taken our daughter to play at a local children’s park. Standing 
in the middle of the play area were some individuals so fully covered in black 
niqabs that we could not tell if they were women, men, or any of the 873 
“genders” that now constitute the rich fluidity of “gender expression.” The 
image was so jarring that we decided to leave. Since sharing this story, I have 
been derided by some Western bien-pensants for our “silly” overreaction. 
After all, what could be more engaging and fun than walking into a play area 
with a very young child and having ghosts in ominous black robes stare at 
your child? Surely only racist bigots would feel uncomfortable at such a 
symbol of secularism, modernity, and true liberalism. Of course, I am being 
sarcastic because this is the only possible way to process such suicidal 
stupidity. Vision is the dominant sense for humans. We have evolved a 

highly specialized visual system that permits us to read a broad range of 
nonverbal cues including facial features. Once a person’s identity and 
humanity are hidden behind black robes of “freedom and liberation,” it is 
only natural for most sane people to feel uneasy about such a reality. And yet 
the virtue signalers mock, deride, and condemn those who exhibit perfectly 
rational responses to an otherwise disturbing stimulus. 

Clear-thinking people know that there is a place for both emotions and 
intellect, for humor and seriousness, and understand when to activate their 
emotional versus cognitive systems as they navigate life. But people who 
have fallen prey to idea pathogens have lost control of their minds and their 
emotions—and those pathogens are spreading rapidly and threatening our 


Non-Negotiable Elements of a Free and 
Modern Society 

“But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, 
that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing 
generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those 
who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the 
opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what 
is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier 
impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” 

—John Stuart Mill! 

What are the essential features that a society must possess in order to be 
truly liberal and modern? Niall Ferguson, the Harvard historian, proposed 
“Six Killer Apps” that define the greatness of the West, namely competition, 
scientific revolution, property rights, modern medicine, consumer society, 
and work ethic.” In this chapter, I offer a more distilled set of factors. I posit 
that the guaranteed right to debate any idea (freedom of speech and 
thought) coupled with a commitment to reason and science to test 
competing ideas (the scientific method) are what have made Western 
Civilization great. 

Social Media Companies and Free Speech 

Many people in the West have a poor understanding of the concept of 
free speech. Whenever I mute or block someone on social media, a 
cacophony of fools will accuse me of being a free speech hypocrite for 
“silencing their voice.” They do not understand that I have the right to walk 
away from their online taunts, insults, and idiocy. To do so is not 

“restricting” their speech but expressing my right to avoid listening to them. 
This is an obvious point, and yet many people are confused by it. A second 
mistake is the mindlessly aped line: “Social media companies are not the 
government. They have the right to choose which content will be carried on 
their platforms.” In a sane world, this would a laughable position to hold, 
and yet it is endlessly repeated without any reflection on its nefarious 
implications. Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have more global 
control over us than all other companies combined. It is not hyperbole to say 
that they have more collective power, in terms of the information they 
control, than all the rulers, priests, and politicians of history. If knowledge is 
power, then these social media giants are nearly all-powerful when they 
decide which information we can have and whether we can be allowed a 
social media platform. Big tech companies routinely ban right-leaning 
commentators, but of course this is all an unfortunate “algorithmic 
coincidence.” What could be more sinister? 

Another tool that online companies use to repress free speech is going 
after your wallet. Of the 1,000+ clips on my YouTube channel, roughly one- 
third have been demonetized (albeit some are monetized again once I file a 
request for a manual review). Many of my clips are demonetized prior to my 
even posting them publicly. In other words, an algorithm automatically 
demonetizes my clips as a default setting. In other instances, money 
exchange portals such as Patreon and PayPal, which are used by online 
content creators to solicit financial support, have banned individuals whom 
they feel have violated one of their tenets of acceptable speech. Carl 
Benjamin (a.k.a. Sargon of Akkad), an influential YouTuber on whose show 
I have appeared on two occasions, was booted from Patreon. The company 
had uncovered a clip where he used the “N-word” as a means of mocking 
racists. Despite this context and the fact that the clip had not been produced 
on the Patreon platform, a key feature of their terms of use (and hence not 
supported by his patrons), they deleted his account. This caused a gigantic 
backlash against Patreon. My good friends Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin 
left the platform in protest, and many people pledged to boycott the 
company. But the boycott indirectly punished many other content creators 
who lost a huge amount of revenue (it cost me more than two-thirds of my 
financial support). As a libertarian, I am a fervent proponent of small 
government. I despise the never-ending and ever-increasing governmental 
encroachments into our daily lives. But it seems obvious that these online 

companies must be regulated as utilities.’ Just as your electricity or phone 
line is not shut off if the electric company or phone company doesn’t like 
what you say, social media platforms should not be in the business of 
monitoring and punishing speech. 

Self-Censorship Is the Greatest Scourge to Free Speech 

Asa result of my public engagement, I have become a global confessor for 
students and academics suffering under the political correctness that 
dominates our universities. A common theme in these first-person 
testimonies is the necessity of self-censorship lest one be punished for 
violating progressive orthodoxy. The fear is so great that professors thanking 
me for my defense of classical liberal values often request that I not share 
their identities (which I never do without their permission). Imagine for a 
moment how chilling this is. Below I share excerpts of a few representative 
emails sent to me: 

Im a 47-year-old white male who because of an injury made a 
choice to return to school... In the first year, to maintain full-time 
status, I was forced to take another social justice-Black Lives 
Matter course. Students are not allowed to challenge or question 
the course content because that’s considered disrespectful and may 
disrupt someone’s safe space. I believe ’'m a respectful student 
with good attendance and whose marks are in the mid-eighties. 
That said, after a few weeks of the one-sided syllabus, I’m 
considering dropping out of the program and leaving school 
entirely. This leftist academic world is a little too much for me. 

The reason I am contacting you is because, as an honors cognitive 
student, part of my requirement is to complete 12 credits of 
research. However, because of purely political reasons (I am 
apparently a violent, misogynist, racist Trump supporter), I have 
not only lost my job at a very prestigious behavioural neuroscience 
laboratory at [redacted], but my name has been removed from a 
publication on research I personally conducted, and the lead 
researcher has told me he would never work with me ever again. 

I very much appreciate your courage to fight the cancer that is 
taking over American academia. People like me feel cheated at 
their attempt to pursue a tenure track career. It only takes a 
glimpse at the job offerings that the Modern Languages 
Association publishes each year, to understand that what is 
expected from recent graduates like me is political activism, and I 
refuse to mix that with my academic interests. 

I will save you my long stories of dealing and suffering career-wise 
from politically correct nonsense from the directions of feminism, 
gender ideology, trans-extremism, and Islamophilia. I am trying to 
keep a lid on things for now, as my wife is a very promising 
academic but hasn’t secured a position yet. I know if I started 
voicing my thoughts and arguments on social media, she’d be 
completely shut out of the academy. 

As a fellow professor who has been frustrated by the discourse 
within academia on issues such as political correctness, moral 
relativism, and social justice, I'd like to thank you for speaking up 
the way you have been from within academia.... I have 
nevertheless been frustrated by the conformism and group think I 
see and hear around me. I see otherwise very reasonable and 
capable people abandoning reason and cowing to the narrative of 
the regressive left on many social issues. 

When I told this professor to engage and debate these issues openly, the 
professor replied: 

These are all things which I would like to get involved in once the 
tenure decision is behind me (about one year to go). As upsetting 
as it is, one fears expressing unpopular social ideas prior to tenure. 
In the meantime, please keep fighting the good fight for freedom 
of speech and against thought policing and orthodoxy. 

These are not emails sent to me from dissidents in North Korea, Yemen, 
or the former Soviet Union. Ideological Stalinism is the daily reality on 
North American college campuses. Any freedom-loving person should be 
appalled by this, and yet most academics yawn in complicit apathy and 
cowardly inaction. They are too worried about their selfish, careerist 

considerations to weigh in on these matters. They are happy to tell me 
privately that they support my efforts but “please, Dr. Saad, don’t share my 
name. I don’t want people to know that I share your views.” Why should 
people in a free country be afraid of saying what they believe? Think about 
that, and you will know the direction that the “progressives” want to take us. 

Free Speech=Nazism? 

On August 22, 2017, Ryerson University was scheduled to host an event 
titled “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses” organized by 
Sarina Singh (a Sikh woman of color, to use the parlance of social justice 
warriors). Ms. Singh worked for two decades as a social worker until she 
decided to quit her occupation, as she could no longer handle the pernicious 
anti-science, illiberal progressive dogma that had infested her field. Four 
speakers were scheduled for the event: Dr. Jordan Peterson; Dr. Oren 
Amitay, a clinical psychologist and lecturer at Ryerson University; Faith 
Goldy, a somewhat polarizing journalist; and me. I was going to speak about 
how freedom of speech is the source from which all our freedoms flow. I was 
also planning on reading first-person testimonies of students and professors 
terrorized by the thought police on their campuses. 

Are you able to guess what transpired next? In a twist of Orwellian irony, 
an Antifa-like outfit shut down the event. Rather than standing up to these 
intellectual terrorists and enemies of reason, Ryerson University cited 
“security concerns” as their justification for cancelling an event meant to 
highlight the importance of free speech on university campuses. The lunacy 
does not end there. The organizers of the shutdown had created a Facebook 
page with a Nazi swastika declaring that they did not tolerate Nazis, white 
supremacists, and anti-Semites in “their” city (they added Islamophobes and 
transphobes for good measure). I am an olive-skinned Lebanese Jew who 
escaped execution in Lebanon, and yet I am apparently an anti-Semitic Nazi. 
Dr. Amitay is Jewish, and his family suffered during the Holocaust. He is 
married to a Japanese woman, and he has an adopted black, gay brother. 
What a racist transphobic Nazi! Our identities and personal histories did not 
cause these violators of human dignity to take stock. They simply doubled 
down on their positions. We were Nazi peddlers of hate. 

This recent debacle is hardly an isolated event. The American-based 
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) documented 192 
disinvitation efforts (attempts to stop invited speakers) at American 
universities for the period 2000 to 2014, and this dreadful pattern is 
growing.* The “success” rate of such attempts varied between 38 percent and 
44 percent, a truly breathtaking affront to the First Amendment of the 
American Constitution. Disinvitation efforts are nearly three times more 
likely to take place if the “offending” speaker is seen as belonging on the 
political right. Since the 2014 report was released, there have been many 
more leftist-led disinvitations and disruptions of a broad range of speakers 
including former CIA director John Brennan (at the University of 
Pennsylvania), the political scientist Charles Murray (at Middlebury 
College), equity feminist Christina Hoff Sommers (at Lewis & Clark 
College), feminist icon Camille Paglia (at the University of the Arts), and 
Noble Laureate James Watson (at New York University and the University 
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). The status of freedom of speech on 
Canadian universities is hardly better. The Justice Centre for Constitutional 
Freedoms’s 2017 Campus Freedom Index evaluated the health of free speech 
at sixty Canadian universities along four variables: 1) university policies; 2) 
university practices; 3) student union policies; and 4) student union 
practices, using the grades A, B, C, D, and FS Of 240 possible grades (60 
universities x 4 grades per university), Canadian universities garnered six As 
and thirty-eight Fs. American and Canadian universities are hardly bastions 
of free speech. Instead, they are echo chambers for the left. Deviate from the 
herd at your peril. 

| Believe in Free Speech, but... 

It is now part of the West’s zeitgeist that we should not utter anything 
that might offend, anger, or insult anyone who is a “minority” or a 
“progressive.” This was not always the case. The 1988 Salman Rushdie affair 
was a landmark in this new era of restricted speech. When his book The 
Satanic Verses was released, it immediately drew the ire of many members of 
the ummah (the global Islamic community) who viewed it as blasphemous 
to their religion and prophet. Ayatollah Khomeini, then the Supreme Leader 
of Iran, issued a death sentence against Rushdie. Rushdie was forced to live 
under police protection. The novelist made a guest appearance on Larry 

David’s highly popular television series Curb Your Enthusiasm, mocking his 
own predicament by explaining why women are keen on having sex with a 
globally wanted man. Two passages from an article Rushdie wrote in 2005 
make the succinct case for freedom of speech. “The idea that any kind of free 
society can be constructed in which people will never be offended or 
insulted, or in which they have the right to call on the law to defend them 
against being offended or insulted, is absurd.” Moreover: “The moment you 
say that an idea system is sacred, whether it’s a religious belief system or a 
secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from 
criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes 


Progressives consider it laudable to criticize, mock, or insult all religious 
beliefs—except for the one untouchable faith. To attack Islam in the West is 

» « 

“Islamophobic,” “racist,” and “bigoted.” If a Republican politician says he 
believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith, progressives 
are quick to express their outrage and horror and will organize protests 
accordingly. If ISIS members throw gay men off rooftops based on specific 
fatwas, the same progressives are deafeningly silent. After all, who are we to 
criticize the practices of the Noble Religion? It is apparently arrogant 
cultural imperialism to impose our values onto others, especially if they are 
members of the untouchable faith. In 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands- 
Posten published twelve cartoons that caricatured Muhammad, the prophet 
of Islam. Violence erupted around the world resulting in the deaths of 
around 200 individuals. Several years later, Jytte Klausen authored a book on 
the controversy titled The Cartoons that Shook the World. The publisher, 
Yale University Press, decided against publishing the caricatures in a book 
about the caricatures!” Most major media outlets were equally cowardly and 
refrained from printing the cartoons on their platforms. Nearly ten years 
later, the Charlie Hebdo massacre occurred in Paris. This satirical magazine 
had blasphemed against Islam, and so Muslim terrorists attacked its 
employees, brutally massacring twelve people and seriously injuring several 

Christianity is repeatedly criticized and mocked, and yet Christians do 

not respond with such violence, or anything like it’ In 1987, Andres 
Serrano’s photo titled Piss Christ depicting a crucifix in the photographer’s 
urine won an award that was partly sponsored by the National Endowment 

of the Arts (an agency of the United States government). Many Christians 
were clearly upset by it, but they did not lead violent protests. In a 2009 
episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David (co-creator of Seinfeld) visits 
the home of an employee, and while using the bathroom inadvertently 
splashes urine on an image of Jesus Christ in the restroom. The employee, 
unaware of David’s mishap, interprets it as a divine tear. It is difficult to 
imagine a more offensive story line to the more than two billion Christians 
in the world, and yet no one was killed as a retaliation against this puerile 
humor. The Austrian film Paradise Faith featured a woman masturbating 
with a crucifix, and yet it won a jury prize at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.” 
The Book of Mormon is a highly successful musical that makes fun of various 
practices of the Mormon religion. It has won a Tony Award and has grossed 
more than $500 million on Broadway alone. And yet no Mormon explosion 
of anger and violence has taken place. Contrast these tame reactions to what 
happened in 2012, when an ineptly produced short movie titled Innocence of 
Muslims triggered mass protests in many countries resulting in more than 
fifty deaths and a death fatwa being issued on the film’s producer, director, 
and actors. There was even a debate within the upper echelon of the United 
States government as to whether the 2012 attack on an American compound 
in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the death of four Americans including a U.S. 
ambassador, was a violent response to the film. 

Holocaust deniers engage in perhaps the most egregious form of offensive 
speech. They constitute an affront to human decency, as they reject the well- 
documented historical fact that millions of Jews were systematically 
exterminated. Of all possible falsehoods, the denial of the Holocaust is an 
unrivaled murder of the truth. And yet, I, a Jewish man who escaped 
religious persecution in Lebanon, support the right of Holocaust deniers to 
spew their vile and inhumane garbage. It is difficult to imagine a greater 
manifestation of what it means to be a free speech absolutist. If you truly 
understand the meaning of free speech, then you must agree with the 
following: “There is simply no better alternative than to allow those with 

unpopular views to express them and to allow those wishing to hear them to 

do so. 

The “I believe in free speech but” crowd violates the foundational ethos of 
what it means to have free speech. Usually, what comes after the “but” is an 
appeal to refrain from hurting people’s sensibilities and feelings. The general 

idea is that we must weigh our freedom of speech against the right of others 
to not be offended. No! Freedom of speech is precisely meant to protect the 
most obnoxious, offensive, and disgusting speech. It does not exist to ensure 
that you only levy beautiful compliments at me. Occasionally being offended 
is the price that one pays for living in a truly free society. Your feelings might 
get hurt. Grow a pair and move on. Needless to say, being a free speech 
absolutist comes with the usual provisos including that screaming “fire” in a 
theater, inciting violence against others, and engaging in defamatory and 
libelous discourse are not protected speech, but the opponents of free speech 
are trying to contort these commonsense restrictions to suit their own 
purposes. One of the ways that the West is losing its will to fight for freedom 
of speech is by enacting hate speech laws. Several prominent European 
figures have been prosecuted under the broad shoulders of hate speech 
including the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders mentioned earlier, the 
president of the International Free Press Society Lars Hedegaard, and 
Austrian activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. In all these cases, these 
individuals and many others got into legal trouble for criticizing Islam. 
Under the watch of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canadian 
parliamentarian Iqra Khalid introduced Motion 103, which originally 
stemmed from E-411 (a petition to the House of Commons) initiated by 
Samer Majzoub. Both the petition and the motion (neither of which is a law) 
sought to combat “Islamophobia” (which is a nonsensical concept). In a free 
society, people have every right to mock, condemn, criticize, despise, and 
fear any ideology. 

Perhaps the most chilling attempt to quell the right of individuals to 
criticize religions (and by that, I mean one particular religion) has come 
from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (the OIC, composed of fifty- 
six countries and the Palestinian territories). They constitute the largest 
voting bloc of the United Nations, and as such it is perhaps not surprising 
that Israel receives far more official UN condemnations than all brutal 
regimes in the world combined. The OIC has repeatedly attempted to get 
Western nations to adopt the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, 
which would oblige signatory nations to punish anyone who criticizes Islam. 
This repeated quest to impose Sharia-like restrictions on free speech 
regarding Islam is receiving a sympathetic hearing in the West including 
from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former president Barack 
Obama who famously stated in an address to the United Nations assembly 

that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” 
On the contrary Mr. President, the future must belong to those who criticize, 
mock, ridicule, and satirize all prophets, ideas, religions, and ideologies. 

Satire as the Surgeon's Scalpel 

“Wherever there is objective truth, there is satire.” 
—Wyndham Lewis!" 

“How much truth is contained in something can be best determined 
by making it thoroughly laughable and then watching to see how 
much joking around it can take. For truth is a matter that can stand 
mockery, that is freshened by any ironic gesture directed at it. 
Whatever cannot stand satire is false.” 

—Peter Sloterdijk'? 

“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against 
unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can 
act upon them.” 


—Thomas Jefferson 

Satire is a strategy I frequently employ to critique idea pathogens. To 

make it effective, as Mary Wortley Montagu said, “Satire should, like a 

polished razor keen, / Wound with a touch that’s scarcely felt or seen.” ~ 
This is precisely why totalitarian rulers have always outlawed satire directed 
at them and their ideologies. If an idea is veridical, it should be anti-fragile. It 
should be capable of withstanding ironic, satirical, and sarcastic attacks. If it 
is too brittle to do so, it is undoubtedly a falsehood. Satirists have recognized 
this for millennia, as evidenced by the works of Horace, Aristophanes, 
Juvenal, Lucian of Samosata, Al-Ma/’arri, Voltaire, Francois Rabelais, 
Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, and George 
Orwell. I would also include comedians like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, 
the television show South Park, and magazines like Mad and Charlie Hebdo. 

On July 16, 2018, the noted evolutionary scientist and atheist Richard 
Dawkins tweeted: “Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our 

great mediaeval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding 
‘Allahu Akhbar.’ Or is that just my cultural upbringing?”!° I replied: “Dear 
Richard, Arabic is my mother tongue. When properly translated, ‘Allahu 
Akbar’ means ‘We love all people but hold a special fondness for Jews, 
women, and gays. Don’t worry. It’s a message of love, tolerance, and 

Newsweek, initially not getting the joke, said I had criticized Dawkins for 
his “bigotry,” before eventually realizing that I had been sarcastic. My 
satirical powers, however, reached all the way to Pakistan, where I managed 
to bamboozle The Express Tribune in an article written to condemn 
Dawkins’s “Islamophobia” (they deleted any mention of me and my tweet 


when they realized that I had tweeted in jest)..’ At times, my satire is so 

powerful that it fools even those who have followed me on Twitter for a 
while. Donald Trump Jr. had weighed in on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 
unfortunate use of the term “concentration camps” in reference to the 
detention centers at the U.S. border with Mexico. Specifically, he posted a 
tweet that included clips from actual Holocaust survivors to drive home the 
point that her comparison was foolish if not grotesque. In my attempt to 
satirize the left’s routine false equivalence between their opponents and 
Nazis, I replied to Trump Jr.’s tweet as follows: “No way Donald. @AOC is a 
woman of color in Trump’s MAGA country. She faces much greater daily 
threats than those Holocaust survivors ever did.”!* The average three-day- 
old pigeon should be able to pick up such outlandishly obvious satire. 
Apparently, Charlie Kirk, a conservative pundit and founder of Turning 
Point USA, did not receive the memo. He tweeted: 


@GadSaad a Professor who is teaching youth in Canada at the 
John Molson School of business [sic] - says that @AOC is in 
MORE DANGER than holocaust survivors ever were 

This is who is teaching our children 
This is the face of liberal education 


I ended up receiving innumerable angry tweets from people, all of whom 
were apparently immune to the powers of satire. Note that Kirk behaved like 
a leftist social justice warrior: he was outraged and so mobilized an e-mob 
against me and took aim at the school where I teach. He eventually deleted 
his tweet, though without offering me an apology. 

But perhaps my greatest satirical ruse occurred when PJ Media listed one 
of my quotes amongst its twenty worst quotes of 2018.'° Now that is an 
accomplishment of the highest order! Here is the quote: “To all Noble 
Undocumented ‘immigrants’: We apologize for our bigotry and racism. It is 
Nazism to not allow you to vote in our elections. After all, national borders 
is Nazism. Nationhood is Nazism. In a just world, everyone should get to 
vote in any district. #WeApologize””’ I contacted the author of the piece— 
who apparently was unable to distinguish political satire from real political 
lunacy—and he eventually removed me from his “worst quotes” list. 

The takeaway point is this: Free societies do not recoil at the power of 
satire. They recognize that all beliefs and ideologies are fair game. Once we 
delimit what can be satirized, we are no longer living in a free society. 

Identity Politics Are Antithetical to Science 

In Fall 2018, I organized and hosted a symposium on evolutionary 
consumption at my university. A few days prior to the symposium, I 
received an email from a female colleague in another department at my 
university, telling me she could not attend and then chastising me for my 
“oversight” of not including more women speakers. Here is my reply: 

Many thanks for your email. I am sorry that you won’t be able to 
make it. 

As to your point, I do not subscribe to identity politics and 
certainly not in science. If the symposium at hand necessitated 
that most speakers be women, so be it. If in this case, the number 
of male to female speakers is not “balanced” so be it. I did invite 
another female speaker but she was unavailable. I did not choose 
my speakers as a function of whether they ovulate or not. I chose 
them based on their fit with the topic at hand, their availability, 

The US government released data across five races and four 
educational attainment levels (Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s, 
Master’s, and doctorate). As such, there were 20 cells to analyze. In 
EVERY single cell, women outnumbered men. Are you going to 
push for greater gender parity across the cells because it is difficult 
to imagine a more “biased” reality? 

I should add that we do not know whether any of the male 
speakers self-identify as women so perhaps the gender parity is 
more balanced than might first appear. 

In any case, thank you for writing in. I hope that we'll have a 
chance to interact again. 

I have yet to receive a reply from my colleague. Of note, I visited her 
university website and saw that she had posted a photo of herself with her 
nine lab members, all of whom were women. Lest you think that this 
incident is an outlier, Joe Rogan was recently chastised by the progressive 
organization Media Matters for having many more male guests than female 
ones.”! The Canadian government's allocation of endowed research chairs at 
Canadian universities (known as Canada Research Chairs) must now abide 
by an “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan” that ensures that more 
“women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of 
visible minorities” are appointed as chairholders. Universities that do not 
abide by this action plan will have funding withheld. Even the Nobel Prize 
has been infected with this destructive mindset. An article published in 
Nature (one of two premier science journals) chastised the Nobel committee 
for the gender disparity in science laureates (3 percent of whom have been 
women) and went on to add that the great majority of winners have 
operated in Western countries.” The recognition of scientific excellence 
ought to be driven by meritocratic ideals, and yet it is increasingly 
contaminated by identity politics. 

In April 2017, the inaugural March for Science rally was held across 
hundreds of cities around the world to reaffirm the importance of science (in 
part as a response to Donald Trump’s supposed anti-science agenda). On 
January 30, 2017, I visited a key mobilizing website for the event and found 

this mission statement:”° 

At the March for Science, we are committed to centralizing, 
highlighting, standing in solidarity with, and acting as accomplices 
with black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander, indigenous, non- 
Christian, women, people with disabilities, poor, gay, lesbian, 
bisexual, queer, trans, non-binary, agender, and intersex scientists 
and science advocates. We must work to make science available to 
everyone and encouraging individuals of all backgrounds to 
pursue science careers, especially in advanced degrees and 
positions. A diverse group of scientists produces increasingly 
diverse research, which broadens, strengthens, and enriches 
scientific inquiry, and therefore, our understanding of the world. 

If you are a white Christian heterosexual male scientist, tough luck, 
buddy. Following a wave of criticism from several high-profile academics 
including the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker and yours truly, the latter 
statement was revised albeit it remained a manifestation of anti-science 

By definition, science is, or should be, an apolitical process. Scientific 
truths and natural laws exist independent of researchers’ identities. The 
distribution of prime numbers does not change as a function of whether the 
mathematician is a white heterosexual Christian man or a transgendered, 
Muslim, differently sized (obese) individual. The periodic table of elements 
is not dependent on whether a chemist is a Latinx queer or a cisnormative 
Hasidic Jew. Oh, you are a non-binary bisexual chemist? Well this 
completely changes the atomic numbers of Carbon, Palladium, and 
Uranium. All satire aside, science is liberating precisely because it does not 
care about your identity. It is the epistemological means by which we seek to 
understand the world using evidentiary rules that are unbiased. There is no 
other game in town, no other way of knowing. This leads me to another 
virulent mind pathogen that has spread within the university ecosystem: the 
idea that science is a white colonial way of knowing. In fall 2016, South 
African students at the University of Cape Town known as “fallists” (who 
believe science must fall) gained worldwide attention when they argued that 
it was imperative to decolonize one’s mind from the shackles of white 
colonial science. Sorry Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and 
Galileo Galilei: You are not people of color. Your work cannot be fully 
trusted. Back to the drawing boards. Readers might be tempted to think that 

this is hardly something to worry about. After all the South African quacks 
in question are undoubtedly an anomaly. Surely, this form of anti-science 
idiocy could not spread. Or could it? There is a growing push across 
Canadian universities to indigenize the curricula. This is meant as a 
conciliatory response to past historical grievances against the indigenous 
people. According to such a view, the scientific method is only one of many 
ways of knowing. Other forms of knowing, including those that might 
belong within the folklore and mythology of indigenous people, are peddled 
as equally valid forms of discovery. I’m here to tell you that, no, they are not. 
Of course, indigenous people do have unique insight about the flora and 
fauna of lands on which they’ve lived for generations. And it is perfectly 
reasonable to presume that such content-specific local knowledge is 
extremely valuable and worthy of learning and sharing. However, the 
manner by which scientific information is codified within the pantheon of 
human knowledge is not culture-specific. Patrick Beauchesne, a Quebec 
deputy minister, was recently severely rebuked for daring to question how 
indigenous knowledge might be evaluated against scientific knowledge 
(when conducting environmental impact studies). Apparently, he was guilty 

of supporting a “hierarchy of knowledges.”™* The scientific method is the 
universal epistemological framework for understanding the world around 
us. Science does not care about the privileged position of “ancestral 

» « 

wisdom,” “tribal knowledge,” and “the ways of the elders.” There are no 
revealed truths in science. There is no Lebanese-Jewish way of knowing any 
more than there is an indigenous way of knowing. All claims about the 
natural world must pass through the evidentiary prism of the scientific 


There are several other ways by which the indigenization of academia is 
taking place. Indigenous land acknowledgement statements are often made 
at the start of formal academic events (such as graduation ceremonies) 
wherein speakers start off by acknowledging that the attendees are on 
hallowed grounds whose provenance belongs to indigenous people. A more 
forceful version of this new ritual is to proclaim that the attendees are 
trespassing on stolen lands. In fall 2017, I delivered an invited lecture at the 
University of Regina titled “Death of the West by a Thousand Cuts: Forces 
that Impede the Free and Rational Exchange of Ideas.””° The introducer 
began by reminding the audience of Treaty 6 signed between the Canadian 
Crown and various indigenous peoples in 1876, and added that we were on 

the lands of the Métis. At university convocations, masters of ceremony will 
often start off by making such land acknowledgements. Put yourself in the 
shoes of the thousands of graduating students who must sit silently while 
having the cloak of historical guilt placed on their shoulders. They have 
worked hard for many years to arrive at this point. This is their moment. It 
is their time in the spotlight. And yet, they are catapulted into historical 
grievances that have nothing to do with any of them. The reality is that 
innumerable existing lands have belonged to someone else at some point. 
This is a defining feature of history. It is an indelible part of Homo sapiens. 
Should we adopt a global standard wherein any and all ceremonies must 
begin with a forensic historical accounting of all peoples who laid claim to a 
given land? If so, Jews should insist that all future events that take place in 
Saudi Arabia start off by recognizing the historical rights of the Banu Nadir, 
the Banu Qaynuga, and the Banu Qurayza, Jewish tribes that existed in the 
region prior to the ascent of Islam. 

The indigenization process is not restricted to university curricula and 
university ceremonies. It has attacked the fundamental means by which 
academic works are evaluated, namely the peer review process. It might be 
worthwhile to step back and briefly explain how it works. Academic journals 
are managed by an editor in chief, associate editors (at times), and an 
editorial board of academic experts in the field in question. The peer review 
process begins when the editor receives a paper for consideration, and 
quickly establishes whether it is of the necessary quality and within the focus 
of the journal. If these conditions are not met, the editor will “desk-reject” 
the paper, which means he will not send it out for review. Otherwise, a 
suitable number of reviewers are sent the paper for their academic 
evaluations (usually this consists of two or three experts from the editorial 
board but at times the editor might ask an expert who does not sit on the 
board to review the paper; this is known as an ad hoc reviewer). Once all 
reviews are submitted to the editor, a decision letter is sent to the authors 
with typically one of four possibilities. The journal will: 1) accept the paper; 
2) ask the authors to make minor revisions and resubmit the paper; 3) ask 
the authors to make major revisions and resubmit the paper; or 4) reject the 
paper. This process can go on for several rounds of review consisting of 
several years of intense expert scrutiny. As such, once a paper is published in 
the academic literature, it has typically gone through an extensive 
evaluation. Peer review is hardly perfect (great papers are at times rejected; 

poor papers are accepted), but it is a necessary and integral element of the 
vetting of human knowledge. It might surprise you to know that it is a 
“racist” process despite the fact that it is typically double-blind (reviewers 
and authors do not know one another’s identities). This was the claim made 
by University of British Columbia law professor Lorna June McCue in 

2016.”° Specifically, McCue who is an indigenous woman, asserted that peer 
reviewed works were incongruent with the oral traditions of her heritage, 
and as such the university was being discriminatory against her ancestry. 
Astonishingly, her case was heard in front of the British Columbia Human 
Rights Tribunal, and it decided that the university had not discriminated 
against Professor McCue. Someone should have advised all Jewish Nobel 
laureates long ago that they did not have to bother writing things down since 
Judaism also stems from a rich oral tradition. 

The contemporary progressive mantra considers it laudable to argue that 
different races, cultures, or religions possess distinct ways of knowing. 
However, not too long ago, the idea that people of different races or classes 
possessed distinct ways of thinking and reasoning, was reserved for racists 
and other miscreants. Ludwig von Mises, a leading figure of the Austrian 
School of Economics and a staunch defender of classical liberalism, coined 
the term polylogism to capture this exact folly. Mises differentiated between 
Marxian polylogism and racial polylogism. In the former case, an 
individual’s method of thinking was determined by his social class while in 
the latter case, race was the guiding factor. Mises was well aware of the 
illogical nature of this premise when he remarked: “A consistent supporter 
of polylogism would have to maintain that ideas are correct because their 
author is a member of the right class, nation, or race. But consistency is not 
one of their virtues. Thus the Marxians are prepared to assign the epithet 

‘proletarian thinker’ to everybody whose doctrines they approve. All the 

Current social justice warriors engage in similar ideological thinking. “I 

others they disparage either as foes of their class or as social traitors. 

disagree with you” is thus replaced with disparaging labels: climate change 
denier, white nationalist, New Atheist, white supremacist, Alt-Right, and so 
on, demonizing dissenters from progressive orthodoxy as nefarious and evil. 

Polylogism is an anti-science notion, as Mises well knew. “[Mises] had 
highlighted the wider significance of polylogism, characterizing it as a 
‘romantic revolt against logic and science’ and pointing out that it ‘does not 

limit itself to the sphere of social phenomena and the sciences of human 
action. It is a revolt against our entire culture and civilization.”** The 
scientific method liberates us to pursue truth, regardless of who we are. 
Similarly, evolutionary psychology, a discipline viscerally despised by many 
progressives, is expressly anti-racist in that it recognizes that underneath 
many of our surface differences, human minds were borne of the same 
evolutionary forces irrespective of our racial or ethnic backgrounds. 
Environmental forces (or culture) do affect our thinking styles, reasoning, 
and decision making, but these effects are not immutable elements of one’s 


race or ethnicity. There is no “black mind” or “white mind,” no “white male 
way of knowing” or “indigenous way of knowing,” there is only one truth, 

and we find it through the scientific method. 

The Ideological Conformity of Diversity, Inclusion, and 

Progressives seem to believe that if they say the words “diversity, 
inclusion, and equity” often enough, all problems will be solved. But of 
course only certain types of diversity, inclusion, and equity matter. Diversity 
based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity 
are foundational sacraments in the Cult of Diversity. On the other hand, 
intellectual and political diversity are heretical ideas that need to be 
expunged. If Saudi Arabia’s state religion is Islam, the official quasi-religion 
of Western universities is Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (or DIE for short). 
An ever-growing number of academic administrators are hired to ensure 
that the DIE cult reigns supreme. Mark J. Perry, a professor of economics at 
the University of Michigan-Flint, has estimated that the University of 
Michigan has 93 employees on its payroll to uphold the tenets of DIE for a 
total yearly cost of more than $11 million.” The top DIE administrator 
within that list receives a yearly compensation of $396,550, more than the 
combined salary of four faculty members at most American universities. 
Bloated administrative payrolls are already a disastrous financial reality at 
most universities; adding endless DIE bureaucrats is only making it worse. 

In the never-ending need to uncover illusory racists lurking in every 
crevasse, members of the DIE cult have benefited from the use of the 
Implicit Association Test (IAT), which is supposed to measure people’s 

latent biases. In other words, even when you proclaim that you are not a 
racist and have never harbored a single racist thought in your life, the IAT 
will prove otherwise. It is similar to the infamous principle of Lavrentiy 
Beria (head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police): “Show me the man and Ill find 
you the crime.” In this case, show me the person (undoubtedly a 
heterosexual white Christian male), and the IAT will show you a hateful 
racist. The reality is that the IAT has very poor predictive validity,*° diversity 
training based on identifying supposed unconscious biases is likely 
ineffectual,*! and the IAT’s scientific value continues to be a hotly debated 
topic,” so it is grossly imprudent to use it in corporate and educational 
settings as though it were settled science. 

But the DIE zealots insist that all those under their dominion must be full 
converts to the progressive faith. A growing number of universities now 
require as part of the faculty hiring and promotion process that one 
demonstrates adherence to DIE principles. Take for example UCLA’s Office 
of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. It released a report explaining that 
faculty members should submit a statement (as part of the standard 
evaluation of academic personnel) wherein they highlight their “past, 
present, and future (planned) contributions to equity, diversity, and 
inclusion.”*? In the same way that Ba’ath Party members swore their 
allegiance to former dictator Saddam Hussein and North Koreans publicly 
sang with great fervor their undying love for their now deceased, albeit 
glorious, Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, academic personnel must now prostrate 
themselves at the altar of DIE. Failure to do so might bring the death of one’s 
academic career. Let me share a personal anecdote that speaks to this 
growing reality. I was contacted by a female student (who happened to be an 
apparent fan of my work) who was a member of the John Molson Women in 
Business Club. They were interested in inviting me to speak at an event 
about how men could serve as allies to women in the workplace. I held a 
Skype chat with the woman to learn more about the session. She told me she 
wanted me to share strategies that I might have used in my career to support 
and advance women. I reminded her that I treat each person with equal 
dignity irrespective of their sex or other immutable characteristics, and that I 
have always judged people based on their individual merits. I also pointed 
out that the dean of our business school is a woman, as is the associate dean 
of research (since holding my chat with her, our department has appointed a 

woman as our chairperson). I conceded that women had faced 
discrimination in the past but pointed out that the current situation is very 
different, as the data show that women are currently doing quite well vis a 
vis men and are surpassing them in many academic fields. Instead of 
promoting a false victimhood narrative, I offered to deliver a lecture on my 
scientific research on sex differences. The committee decided against 
inviting me. 

I could have played along and delivered the requested lecture on the need 
for men to be better allies to women. But my commitment to truth and 
adherence to reality meant I could not do so in good conscience because it is 
terribly condescending and patronizing to pretend that women need men to 
serve as their allies. This is a form of infantilism that should not exist in a 
meritocratic system. 

But, of course, in academic institutions it reigns supreme. Francis Collins, 
the director of the National Institutes of Health, has stated that before 
accepting a speaking engagement, he would examine the conference’s 
commitment to eradicating all-male panels.** To my chagrin, his position 
was endorsed by Simon Baron-Cohen, a leading cognitive neuroscientist.*° 
The virtue-signaling of such high-profile male “allies” should really be seen 
as an insult to female scientists who do not need to be coddled and protected 
from meritocratic standards. They do not need so-called “affirmative 

Totalitarian ideologies insist on conformity, and there are many ways to 
impose a herd mindset on a population. Take for example the imposition of 
sartorial norms in Mao Tse-tung’s Communist China or within the 
ultraorthodox Hasidic sects. Everyone looks the same. To stand out as an 
individual is to explicitly proclaim that you are more important than the 
collective. How do the DIE bureaucrats impose conformity? In the academic 
world, you are free to dress as you'd like, but your thoughts and beliefs are 
subject to the intellectual conformity of the progressive ideology. Numerous 
studies have explored professors’ political affiliations, and the findings are 
truly astonishing. A 2005 study conducted across eleven California 
universities uncovered a 5 to 1 Democrat-to-Republican ratio.*° Perhaps not 
surprisingly the most lopsided ratio was that of UC-Berkeley (8.7 to 1 ratio). 
When broken down by departments across universities, thirty-nine out of 
forty-two listed fields had a greater ratio of Democrat professors. Not 

surprisingly, fields laden with social justice activism were the most lopsided 
(Sociology had a 44 to 1 ratio). In a 2016 study of professors’ voting 
registration at forty leading American universities across five disciplines, the 

Democrat-to-Republican ratios were 4.5 (economics), 33.5 (history), 20.0 

(journalism), 8.6 (law), and 17.4 (psychology).°’ The total across the five 
disciplines was an 11.5 to 1 ratio favoring Democratic professors. A detailed 
examination of law professors at American universities found that only 15 
percent were classified as conservative (based on data from political 
donations), and the liberal lopsidedness was differentially acute across legal 
subspecialties.** As might be expected, legal specializations laden with social 
justice activists were ranked as the most liberal. These were, in decreasing 
order: Feminist Legal Theory, Poverty Law, Women and the Law, Critical 
Race Theory, Immigration Law, and Disability Law. Finally, a recent study of 
professors’ political registrations at fifty-one out of the sixty top liberal arts 
colleges in the United States uncovered a 10.4 to 1 Democrat-to-Republican 
ratio.*° If the two “outlier” military colleges are removed, the ratio increases 
to 12.7 to 1. Incredibly, twenty institutions had a proportion of Republican 
professors that, statistically speaking, was zero. Of note, the more prestigious 
a school is, the more lopsided the Democrat ratio (21.5, 12.8, 12.4, and 6.9 
across tiers 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively). 

The economist Thomas Sowell, who happens to be one of the original 
slayers of social justice warriors back in the 1960s and 1970s, famously 

quipped: “The next time some academics tell you how important ‘diversity’ 

is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department. 

Samuel J. Abrams, a professor of politics at ultra-liberal Sarah Lawrence 
College, recently penned a New York Times opinion piece wherein he 
reported his survey findings of 900 administrators tasked with the 
management of student life on campuses.*! He found that the ratio of 
liberals-to-conservatives among this group was 12 to 1 (well in line with 
similar skewed ratios for the professoriate). In his closing paragraph, he 
opined: “This warped ideological distribution among college administrators 
should give our students and their families pause. To students who are in 
their first semester at school, I urge you not to accept unthinkingly what 
your campus administrators are telling you. Their ideological imbalance, 
coupled with their agenda-setting power, threatens the free and open 
exchange of ideas, which is precisely what we need to protect in higher 

education in these politically polarized times.” This is a plainly sensible 
position, and yet the hysterical reaction from students and staff at his college 
was what we’ve come to expect from these adult toddlers. Threatening and 
insulting notes were left outside his office demanding that he first apologize 
and then resign.” The college's president accused him of lacking 
compassion and of making people “feel unsafe” on campus. 

Whenever I discuss studies that document the extreme liberal bias on 
university campuses, I am invariably told: “Professors are educated, 
intellectually sophisticated, and smart. So of course, they are liberal. It’s a 
self-selection bias. Intelligent people are liberal. Universities are comprised 
of intelligent people; therefore, most of them are inevitably liberal.” Self- 
selection, however, is not what drives the liberal bias on university 
campuses, but rather systemic politically-based discrimination. A study of 
social and personality psychologists documented the paucity of conservative 
faculty members (only 6 percent of the surveyed sample).** Of note, a 
sizeable number of faculty members admitted that they would discriminate 
against conservative colleagues when reviewing their papers or grant 
applications, when deciding whether to invite them to a symposium, and 
when making hiring decisions. The more “liberal” a faculty member was, the 
more likely he was to endorse this sort of brazen discrimination. Given the 
rampant discriminatory bias against them, is it any surprise that 
conservative students and professors feel unwelcome in the academy and 
that most conservative graduate students and faculty members are likely to 
hide their political leanings? 

The “academics are smart and hence they are liberals” premise is faulty 
for a second reason. The implicit but erroneous implication is that 
conservatives are largely science deniers. But science denialism is found 
amongst liberals at least as much as it is amongst conservatives. Yes, some 
conservatives reject evolution for religious reasons, but many progressives 
reject evolutionary psychology because it contradicts many of their secular 
ideologies including radical feminism. The human instinct to protect one’s 
beliefs from the indignity of being challenged transcends an individual’s 
political orientation.** It is a frailty of the human spirit, and as such, it is not 
restricted to liberals or conservatives. Few people possess the intellectual 
courage to expose their most cherished positions to opposing perspectives. 
The human ego is brittle and frail. 

The “academics are smart and hence they are liberals” canard is 
devastatingly wrong for a third but equally important reason. If a 
conservative ecology professor rejects the theory of evolution—a scientific 
truth that is as incontrovertible as the existence of gravity—this is obviously 
a problem. One’s political or religious beliefs cannot supersede accepted 
scientific knowledge (though we must remember that such knowledge 
remains provisional and open to falsification). But there are many issues on 
which there can be conflicting, yet perfectly reasonable and valid, positions 
that lend themselves to debate. What should a country’s foreign, fiscal, and 
immigration policies look like? What are the pros and cons of the death 
penalty? Is universal healthcare a viable and sustainable program? There are 
countless issues of substantive political, societal, and economic importance 
where university students stand to benefit greatly from being exposed to a 
heterogeneity of perspectives. Hence, the quest for greater intellectual 
diversity is not some theoretically abstract ideal; diversity of thought on 
campus helps train future leaders to weigh different outlooks and opinions 
and facts in making a sound judgment. Intellectual diversity is the engine 
that allows for the Darwinian process of competition to select the best ideas 
(what we call evolutionary epistemology). In this sense, universities today 
have become anti-Darwinian cesspools of barren ideological conformity. 

It is important to note that the lack of intellectual and political diversity is 
not restricted to academia. Ideological conformity is rampant across every 
key industry that deals in information. An analysis of political campaign 
donations across a broad range of industries uncovered that the four most 
liberal professions, in decreasing order, were the entertainment industry, 
academia, online computer services, and newspapers and print media.” 
These professions were much more liberal than conservative professions 
were conservative. In other words, political bias is asymmetric. These 
general findings were confirmed in another study of political leanings (based 
on political contributions) across professions. For example, the film and 
stage production industry had a 93 to 7 Democrat-to-Republican ratio; 
editors (in the book and magazine publishing industry) had a 92 to 8 
Democrat-to-Republican ratio; academia had a 90 to 10 Democrat-to- 
Republican ratio.*° An examination of midterm political contributions of 
$200 or more by employees who work in the technology industry uncovered 
an astronomical liberal bias. The percentage of contributions that went to 
Democratic candidates from Netflix was 99.6 percent; from Twitter, 98.7 

percent; from Apple, 97.5 percent; from Google/Alphabet, 96 percent; from 
Facebook, 94.5 percent; from PayPal, 92.2 percent; and from Microsoft, 91.7 
percent.*” Bias? What bias? We often hear the mainstream media scoffing at 
the idea that they are in any way politically biased. Well, a 2013 study from 

Indiana University’s School of Journalism revealed that American journalists 

were nearly four times more likely to be Democrats than Republicans. 
While many proclaimed to be independents, one can safely presume that 
this was a form of impression management (even if to fool oneself about 
being ideologically impartial). Of note, beyond industries that deal with 
information (academia, journalism, social media), there are many 
professions wherein a political tilt has tangible repercussions. For example, 
physicians are likely to offer different treatments as a function of their 
political leanings." To further complicate matters, different medical 
specialties yield varying patterns of political affiliations, the most 
conservative of which are surgery, anesthesiology, and urology, and the most 
liberal being infectious disease, psychiatry, and pediatrics.” Choose your 
psychiatrist carefully lest your schizophrenia be blamed on climate change, 
an overbearing mother, or Donald Trump. 

I end this chapter with a very poignant quote from Ronald Reagan, 
uttered nearly two decades before he became president of the United States: 

But freedom is never more than one generation away from 
extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the 
bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have 
known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it to 
them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime 
must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I 
may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our 

children’s children what it was once like in America where men 

were free. 

Let us heed President Reagan’s immeasurably wise words. We must 
renew our commitment to freedom of speech, and fight against the left’s idea 
pathogens that seek to reduce us to irrationality and ideological conformity. 


Anti-Science, Anti-Reason, and Illiberal 

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit 


The idea pathogens on university campuses fall into several large categories. 
Postmodernism posits that all knowledge is relative (no objective truths) 
while generating obscure and impenetrable prose that is tantamount to 
random gibberish. This anti-science buffoonery generates positions such as 
the “Science Must Fall” movement that demands that people “decolonize” 
their minds from “racist” Western science. Social constructivism proposes 
that the great majority of human behaviors, desires, and preferences are 
formed not by human nature or our biological heritage but by society, which 
means, among other things, that there are no biologically determined sex 
differences, but only culturally imposed “gender roles.” Radical feminism 
asserts that these gender roles are due to the nebulous and nefarious forces 
of the patriarchy. Transgender activism purports that biological sex and 
“gender” are non-binary fluid constructs. Scientifically speaking, 
postmodernism, social constructivism, radical feminism, and transgender 
activism are all based on demonstrable falsehoods. But when one’s 
ideological commitments are paramount, the rejection of scientific facts 
becomes the necessary collateral damage. 

Freedom from Reality 

Many idea pathogens share one common thread, a deep desire to liberate 
people from the shackles of reality. Take for example, the blank slate premise 

of the human mind.! It posits that humans are born void of any evolved 
biological blueprints and innate individual differences. Our eventual life 
trajectories are thought to be fully shaped by the distinct environments to 
which we’ve been exposed. This is a hopeful but delusional belief. John 
Watson, one of the founders of behaviorism, famously stated: 

Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own 
specified world to bring them up in, and I'll guarantee to take any 
one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I 
might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even 
beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, 
tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am 
going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of 
the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of 


This is a truly extraordinary statement. It falsely posits that your parents 
(or Dr. John Watson) could have nurtured you into becoming the next NBA 
superstar. Move aside Michael Jordan, there is a new kid in town, and he is a 
chubby and clumsy 5'4" teenager named Mordechai Goldberg who has been 
expertly trained by John Watson. Watson rejected the notion of heredity and 
innate talent: 

Our conclusion, then, is that we have no real evidence of the 

inheritance of traits.” 

Everything we have been in the habit of calling “instinct” today is a 
result largely of training—belongs to man’s learned behavior. As a 
corollary from this I wish to draw the conclusion that there is no 
such thing as an inheritance of capacity, talent, temperament, 
mental constitution, and characteristics. These things again depend 

on training that goes on mainly in the cradle.* [Italics in original.] 

Dear parents, please rest assured that your children might become the 
next Lionel Messi (arguably the greatest soccer player of all time) or the next 
Albert Einstein, as long as you provide them with the right environments. 
It’s a truly hopeful message rooted in a rejection of biological science (and 
common sense). 

Similarly, radical feminists refuse to concede that men and women might 
possess evolutionarily-based distinct abilities, interests, and talents. While 
the average three-year-old is aware of these self-evident truths and can tell 
the difference between an NFL linebacker and the diminutive pop star 
Ariana Grande, social constructivists reject the “patriarchal” notion that 
men and women are different. But perhaps the greatest tool for liberating 
oneself from the shackles of reality is the trans prefix, which magically makes 
your biological sex or race (as per Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who self- 
identifies as black) whatever you want it to be. Do not misunderstand me. 
There are people, fortunately very few, who truly suffer from gender 
dysphoria. But their existence should not lead us to reject the biological facts 
that irrevocably shape who we are. To elevate one’s “self-identity” above 
reality is hardly liberating. It is a rejection of truth. It is perhaps not 
surprising then that postmodernism is so rampant amongst radical 
feminists, social constructivists, and trans activists. It is the ultimate 
epistemological liberator: it frees us from objective truth by celebrating “my 

Men Get Pregnant and Women Have Penises 

In 2002, I had a Kafkaesque chat that served as a prophetic warning sign 
of the lunacy that would eventually fully engulf not just university campuses 
but our legislative chambers as well. One of my doctoral students had 
recently defended his dissertation, so we set up a celebratory dinner to mark 
the moment. Four people attended the infamous dinner: my wife and I along 
with my doctoral student and his date.” My student had warned me that his 
date was a graduate student committed to postmodernism, radical feminism, 
and cultural anthropology, the perfect tsunami of anti-science “thinking.” 
When in mixed company, the norm is to avoid a discussion of politics and 
religion, and this person’s beliefs were akin to a political ideology or a quasi- 
religious cult, so I reluctantly agreed to be on my best behavior. Surely my 
student knew me well enough to know that this was a tenuous promise at 
best. In the immortal words of Bette Davis in the classic film Al] About Eve, 
“Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” 

Postmodernism proclaims that there are no objective truths. Evolutionary 
psychologists like myself recognize that human universals exist precisely 
because they constitute elements of a shared biological heritage. Inevitably, 

my student’s companion and I ended up in a debate. She scoffed at my first 
principles, and I scoffed at hers, so I laid out a challenge to my interlocutor: I 
would offer what I considered to be a human universal, and she would tell 
me why I was wrong. I began with what I was sure was an incontestable 
example: when it comes to Homo sapiens, only women bear children. She 
rolled her eyes at my gargantuan “stupidity” and told me of a Japanese tribe 
where men somehow “spiritually” bear children. She scolded me for 
focusing on the material and biological realm because this was what kept 
women barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. Apparently, my first example 
was too toxic and triggering, so I made a second less “controversial” attempt. 
I proposed to her that sailors have always relied on the fact that the sun rises 
in the East and sets in the West, and this was an objective universal truth. 
How do you think she “dismantled” my second example? She went into her 
toolbox of postmodernist bullshit and deployed a deconstructionist retort: 
she questioned my use of the “arbitrary labels” East, West, and sun. She then 
added that what I refer to as the sun, she might call dancing hyena (I'm not 
kidding). Our conversation soon sputtered out. Over the next dozen years, 
conversations like this started to stack up, especially regarding “gender.” 
(For example, subsequent to a lecture that I delivered at Wellesley College in 
2014, one student suggested to me that professors should poll students at the 
start of class regarding their gender identities.) If language creates reality, as 
postulated by deconstructionists, then to misgender someone becomes an 
affront to that person’s “reality.” 

In late September 2016, Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the 
University of Toronto, produced a YouTube video wherein he criticized 
legislation in Canada (Bill C-16) that added gender identity and gender 
expression as protected categories under the rubric of hate crime laws. 
Peterson defiantly stated that he would not let the government dictate his 
speech when it came to “gender” pronouns. Needless to say, the progressive 
academic mob demanded that he be fired from his tenured position. After 
he reached out to me, I invited him on my YouTube show THE SAAD 
TRUTH to discuss the matter.® In May 2017, Peterson and I both testified in 
front of the Canadian senate regarding Bill C-16. In my testimony, I cited 
the Office of BGLTQ Student Life at Harvard University, which argued: 1) 
that an individual’s gender identity and gender expression were subject to 
daily changes (Monday I’m male, Tuesday I’m female, Wednesday I’m non- 
binary, Thursday I’m gender-neutral, and so on.), and 2) that the 

promulgation of “fixed binaries” (the idea of male and female) and 
“biological essentialism” (acknowledging evolved biological realities) was 
“transphobic misinformation” that amounted to “systemic violence.” 

In my testimony, I argued that my areas of teaching and research 
expertise, namely the application of evolutionary psychology to the 
behavioral sciences could easily be construed as violating Bill C-16. Some of 
the “progressive” senators scoffed and laughed at such a possibility, while 
another accused me of being pro-genocide.’ Hence, in the twenty-first 
century, a chaired professor who is an evolutionary behavioral scientist has 
to testify in front of the Canadian senate that humans are a sexually 
reproducing and sexually dimorphic species composed of males and females. 
Lest the reader think that this is a uniquely Canadian form of lunacy, at 
Rocklin Academy in California, a first-grader was investigated and sent to 
the principal’s office for innocently misgendering a classmate.® California 
lawmakers are considering passing a law that would criminalize the 
“knowing and repeated” misgendering of individuals who are receiving 
long-term care services. A similar law already exists in New York City and is 
not restricted to health care settings. I can assure you that the trash talking 
that took place on the pitch during my competitive soccer career would have 
resulted in 90 percent of the players being sent to San Quentin for “hurtful 
language crimes.” Of note, my explicit warning to the Canadian senators 
regarding the proverbial slippery slope has been vindicated, as we have 
moved from compelled speech (person A should not misgender person B) to 
the imposition of having to state one’s own preferred gender pronouns in 
email signatures and on name tags. 

Do not think for a moment that this tsunami of lunacy has spent itself. If 
anything, it is gathering force. It is now being argued that men can 
menstruate (J. K. Rowling, the author and progressive icon, recently fell 
afoul of the Cancel Culture Brigade for questioning this “fact”), and this 
“truth” is being taught to children as part of their sex education.” In the first 
Democratic debate for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, Julian 
Castro stated that biological males who are now transgender women should 
be guaranteed abortion rights. In a subsequent tweet, Castro issued a 
correction: “Last night I misspoke—it’s trans men, trans masculine, and 
non-binary folks who need full access to abortion and repro healthcare. And 
I'm grateful to ALL trans and non-binary folks for their labor in guiding me 

on this issue.”!° Delusional departures from reality can indeed be confusing. 
In any case, I tweeted: “Dear @JulianCastro, I’m a trans woman looking to 
conduct a cervical exam. Do you know of a good gynecologist that you 
might be willing to recommend?”!! My satire proved prophetic after the 
Canadian Cancer Society released an ad campaign with the photo of a trans 
woman (biological male) to represent a demographic group at risk for 
cervical cancer. S Finally, Senator Elizabeth Warren proclaimed, during her 
attempt to win the Democratic Party nomination for president, that if she 
were elected president, her nominee for secretary of education would have to 
be cleared by a nine-year-old transgender child. ad To indulge such fantasies 
is not harmless; it is a war against reason itself. 

Postmodernism: Intellectual Terrorism Masquerading as 

Sometimes people overestimate their understanding of complicated 
phenomena, which is what some scholars call the illusion of explanatory 
depth.'* A good example is how people will give greater authority to a 
scientific explanation that includes pictures of multicolored neuronal brain 

imaging patterns, even when these patterns offer little explanatory power.!° 

Postmodernism thrives in academic circles for similar reasons. 
Postmodernist bullshitters like Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, and Michel 
Foucault succeeded in academia with their charlatanism because of the 
assumption that if something is nearly impossible to understand, it must be 
profound (note that there are individual differences in the extent to which 
people are swayed by bullshit. '°) In a conversation with the American 
philosopher John Searle, Foucault confessed to this faux-profundity: “In 
France, you gotta have ten percent incomprehensible, otherwise people 
won't think it’s deep—they won’t think you're a profound thinker.” That 
admission notwithstanding, Foucault thought that Derrida pushed this 
strategy too far by engaging in obscurantisme terroriste.\’ I, too, 
independently, have referred to postmodernism as intellectual terrorism. 
Beware of those trying to impress you with confusing word salads. 

The art world is particularly susceptible to postmodernist gibberish 
because it is a domain where objective metrics of excellence are difficult to 
establish. Once you use the magic wand of subjectivity, you are able to find 

the supposed beauty of invisible art. Back in 1996, I visited the Carnegie 
Museum in Pittsburgh. As I strolled through the exhibits, I came across a 
blank canvass displayed as “art.” Notwithstanding the fact that I understood 
the postmodern twist to this “art work,” I asked a museum representative to 
justify the existence of a blank “painting.” She explained that our discussion 
of the piece was testimony to its value. 

London’s Hayward Gallery hosted an exhibition in 2012 titled Invisible: 
Art about the Unseen 1957-2012, which featured—well, you guessed it— 
invisible an Ralph Rugoff, the director of the Hayward Gallery reiterated 
the importance of using one’s imagination when viewing invisible pieces. 
With that in mind, perhaps Ill try to write an invisible manuscript for my 
next book project. I'll provide a front and back cover with 300 empty pages. 
Ill leave it to the reader’s rich imagination to fill in the contents. (Actually, a 
clever American podcaster and commentator named Michael J. Knowles 
beat me to it with a book titled Reasons to Vote for Democrats.) 

The Grievance Studies Project 

In 1996, Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University, 
published a gibberish article titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a 
Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” in Social Text, a leading 
academic journal of postmodernism.” The paper was a hoax meant to 
demonstrate how obscurantist gibberish prose could be published as long as 
it seemed to be supportive of postmodernist “thinking.” The editors of the 
journal were undoubtedly keen to publish a postmodern analysis of gravity 
authored by a physicist. This would grant a scientific imprimatur to their 
edifices of nonsense. If you thought that the parody had a devastating effect 
on the discipline, you’d be wrong. Since postmodernism purports that reality 
is subjective, one person’s parody is another’s gold mine of meaning. With 
this epistemological sleight of hand, postmodernists are able to extract 
meaning from the most meaningless of texts. Voila, postmodernism is akin 
to the Hydra in Greek mythology. Cut off one of its heads, and several new 
ones will grow. On a personal note, I contacted Sokal in 2010 to alert him 
about an article that I had published in my Psychology Today column 
referencing his brilliant hoax.” He politely pointed out that my 
characterization of his prose as “containing pseudo-randomly generated 

passages” was incorrect. He had assiduously toiled over the choice of every 
word of his hoax article. There was indeed a method to the madness! 

In 2017, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian (who happens to be a good 
friend of mine) published a hoax paper (using pseudonyms) wherein they 
argued that the human penis was a conceptual construct that was a driving 
force behind climate change. I challenge the readers to go through the paper 
in question without bursting into uncontrollable laughter. I tried to do so on 
camera but failed.”! Once the hoax was publicized, an associate editorial 
director put out a statement that explained: “Two reviewers agreed to review 
the paper and it was accepted with no changes by one reviewer, and with 
minor amends by the other. On investigation, although the two reviewers 
had relevant research interests, their expertise did not fully align with this 
subject matter and we do not believe that they were the right choice to 
review this paper.” Apparently, had the proper experts been used to review 
an utterly nonsensical paper that linked human penises to climate change, 
the outcome might have been different. I am unaware of any experts in 
phallic-based climatology but perhaps I did not look hard enough. 

Detractors of the penis-climate change hoax paper argued that this was 
hardly convincing given that the journal that accepted the paper (Cogent 
Social Sciences) was a pay-to-publish predatory outlet possessing little if any 
academic prestige. Fair enough. But the perpetrators of the hoax had a 
nuclear option as a rebuttal. They joined forces with Helen Pluckrose (an 
editor with Areo Magazine) and proceeded to pull off arguably the grandest 
of Sokal-type projects. They wrote twenty nonsensical papers and submitted 
them to various leading academic journals to gauge what would happen. In 
Table 1 below, I list the titles of papers that were accepted before the trio 
decided to pull the plug on the project and come clean (as they were about to 
be found out). The articles were a hysterically funny mish-mash of gibberish, 
but leading journals of feminist philosophy, gender studies, and associated 
nonsense thought these worthy of publication. I tried to cover this brilliant 
grand ruse on my channel while keeping a straight face.” I failed. To give 
the reader a sense of how nonsensical these papers were, the first listed paper 
in Table 1 examines rape culture in dog parks via the use of black feminist 
criminology while the third one involves a rewriting of Adolf Hitler’s Mein 
Kampf using feminist buzzwords. It is difficult to overestimate the extent of 
the nonsensical lunacy. Peter Boghossian, the only one of the three 

collaborators working at a university, was investigated by his institution for 
“ethical breaches.”~# Rather than lauding his intellectual courage for serving 
as a whistleblower to fraudulent disciplines, his university was looking for 
ways to punish him. 

Life is about navigating a maze of opportunity costs. If you are going to 
spend years studying in university, spending your parents’ hard-earned 
money on exorbitant tuition fees, perhaps you should refrain from studying 
critical race theory, intersectional feminism, queer theory, and 
postmodernism. Avoid topics that are firmly rooted in a desire to liberate 
students from the shackles of reality. 


The Seven Accepted Grievance Studies Papers 

Human Reactions to Rape Culture Gender, Place, and Culture 

and Queer Performativity in Urban 

Dog Parks in Portland, Oregon 

Going in Through the Back Door: Sexuality & Culture 
Challenging Straight Male 
Homohysteria and Transphobia 
through Receptive Penetrative Sex 
Toy Use 

Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Affilia: Journal of Women and Social 
Solidarity Feminism as an Work 
Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and 
Choice Feminism 

Who Are They to Judge’: Fat Studies 
Overcoming Anthropometry and a 
Framework for Fat Bodybuilding 

When the Joke Is on You: A Feminist Hypatia 
Perspective on How Positionality 

Influences Satire 

An Ethnography of Breastaurant Sex Roles 
Masculinity: Themes of 
Objectification, Sexual Conquest, 
Male Control, and Masculine 
Toughness in a Sexually Objectifying 

Moon Meetings and the Meaning of The Journal of Poetry Therapy 

Sisterhood: A Poetic Portrayal of 

Lived Feminist Spirituality 

Trans Activism—The Tyranny of the Minority 

Rachel McKinnon, a biological male who self-identifies as a woman, won 
the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships (35-44 age 
category).”° Subsequent to her victory, I invited Dr. McKinnon via Twitter to 
appear on my show: “Dear Dr. @rachelvmckinnon: I appreciate your desire 
to fight for fairness when it comes to transgender rights. Do you think 
though that the biological women who lost against you have a right to feel 
aggrieved when a biological male beats them in a women’s competition? Or 
do you think that the behavioral, anatomical, physiological, morphological, 
and hormonal advantages that men possess over women in such 
competitions are mere social constructions imposed by the transphobic 
patriarchy? I'd be happy to chat with you on my show THE SAAD 
TRUTH.””° Care to guess what the response was? Did Dr. McKinnon take 
the opportunity to use my large platform to defend her positions? After all, 
as a professor of philosophy she should have jumped at the opportunity to 
debate me on the matter. Instead she blocked me and started name-calling 
everyone who questioned her victory. Apparently, Dr. McKinnon could not 
contemplate how outlandishly unfair her victory was to the actual women 
who lost to a biological male. This is precisely what I referred to as the 
tyranny of the minority in my Canadian Senate address in 2017. The 
victimology narrative means that transgender rights supersede women’s 

As a response to McKinnon’s “heroic” victory, I released a clip on my 

YouTube channel satirizing this sheer insanity.”” Using the concepts of 
TransAgeism and TransGravity (I made these up, but they are “my truth,” so 
you cannot critique me), I announced that I would be entering a Judo 
contest in the U8 category since I self-identify as a child who is under eight 
years old. Then, using the logic from the Office of BGLTQ Student Life at 
Harvard University that one’s gender identity is subject to daily fluctuations, 
I declared that I would also be entering the octogenarian Judo competition 
as my age self-identity changes on a daily basis. Finally, since biological sex, 
gender, race, and age are mere social constructs, I argued that one’s weight is 
also a social construct subject to the liberating powers of the “trans” prefix. 
Hence, while I might technically be over 200 pounds, I self-identify as being 
less than 120 pounds, but particularly so on the days that I self-identify as an 
octogenarian, and as such I'd be competing against skinny elderly people. As 
has happened on numerous occasions, my satire proved to be prophetic 
when less than three weeks later the news broke that Emile Ratelband, a 
sixty-nine-year-old Dutchman, was seeking to legally change his age to 
forty-nine (as this would grant him greater advantages on the labor and 

mating markets, among other things).”* As I have often remarked on social 
media, my sarcasm and satire are sharper than a surgeon’s scalpel in slicing 
through entrenched deposits of nonsensical bullshit. However, it is often 
missed even by otherwise sophisticated individuals. During a recent medical 
checkup, my physician pulled up a few of my tweets where I lamented my 
status as a “differently-weighted” individual. He was apparently concerned 
about my mental and emotional stability, as he had utterly missed the 
sarcasm. Here is one of the tweets: “What gives the right of my physician to 
use antiquated notions of weight to determine that I need to lose weight. 
Real scientists now know that a given weight scale reading is not fixed but 
rather fluid. Plus what about those who wish to be weightless? Don’t they 
have rights? sad 

The gods of victimhood recently offered a test case of competitive 

intersectionality. In Windsor, Ontario, a trans woman filed a human rights 

complaint against a spa that refused to provide “her” with waxing services. 
The wax artist, a Muslim woman, was understandably reticent to wax a 
biological male. It was a fascinating case of Victimology Poker. Who holds 
the highest hand, the Muslim woman or the trans woman? Only expert 

judges in Oppression Olympics could adjudicate such a case. Another trans 
woman has filed fifteen complaints in British Columbia against spas that 
refused to perform a Brazilian wax on “her An even more galling case 
pitted the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter against trans 
activists. Municipal funding to the shelter was halted because of its refusal to 
admit trans women.” Since 1973, the shelter has granted support to 46,000 
women but apparently the wellbeing of innumerable female victims seeking 
to escape horrifying situations is secondary to granting “inclusion rights” to 
trans women (who constitute an astonishingly small percentage of the 
Canadian population). All Canadians are equal, but some are more equal 
than others. 

Cyd Zeigler is an LGBTQ activist and founder of the National Gay Flag 
Football League. In February 2019, he appeared on Fox News and said there 
was no scientific evidence that trans athletes might possess any competitive 
advantages. I asked him the following question in a tweet: “Dear 
@CydZeigler: ’'m currently watching you on @foxnews. Do you not think 
that transwomen (biological males) exhibit physiological, anatomical, 
morphological, and hormonal differences as compared to biological females? 
As an evolutionary behavioral scientist who has researched evolutionary- 
based sex differences, I was under the impression that sex differences exist. 
Perhaps you'd like to come on my show and educate me?”*? While he did 
accept my invitation, things quickly deteriorated. I wanted to gauge whether 
a conversation would be productive, and to do so, I sought to establish 
whether Zeigler was connected to reality let alone to banal scientific truths, 
or whether he was merely a dogged activist. I privately asked him his 
thoughts on a tweet that PinkNews had posted that day: “Iranswomen are 
women. So transwomen’s bodies are women’s bodies. So transwomen’s 
penises are women’s penises.”** Zeigler was unhappy with my question. 
Shortly thereafter, I publicly tagged him on Twitter regarding two trans 
women (biological males) who had finished first and second in the 
Connecticut girls high school track and field competition.*° This was 
specifically relating to his original claim on Fox News that trans athletes did 
not possess any competitive advantages. This is when his activist colors came 
into full view. He accused me of being a transphobic culture warrior 
masquerading as a scientist, and accordingly it was beneath him to interact 
with me. Not one to take personal insults lightly, I went after him repeatedly 

on Twitter and declared him president of Unicornia. Needless to say, he 
blocked me on Twitter. Such is the reality of trying to engage people who 
reject biological realities that are as obvious as the existence of gravity. 

Lisa Littman is a physician and an assistant professor of the practice of 
behavioral and social sciences at Brown University. In 2018, she published a 
paper in PLOS ONE wherein she argued that rapid-onset gender dysphoria 
spreads in social networks as a form of contagion fueled in part by peer 
pressure.”*° Brown University had originally issued a news release describing 
the study’s conclusions but then, when faced with an outcry from 
transgender activists who thought that the article’s conclusions were 
offensive, expunged the story from its website.°” As an act of solidarity 
toward an embattled colleague, I reached out to Littman and invited her on 
my show. She was reluctant to accept my invitation as she was undoubtedly 
concerned about possible institutional repercussions that might befall her. 
This was yet again a case where faux-outrage trumps academic freedom. If 
people scream “I’m offended” loudly enough, they drive the academic 

I recently engaged the Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron on Twitter. 
In my view, Theron and many other parents of newly trans children are 
exhibiting a classic manifestation of Munchausen syndrome by proxy (via 
contagion). They can reap the “woke” progressive rewards of being a parent 
of a trans child. Theron has proclaimed that one of her two adopted children 
(a biological boy) is transgendered, having advised her at the age of three 
that he is a girl.** Accordingly, Theron is raising the child as a girl since 
apparently it is not up to her (or to biological science) to decide the gender 
identity of her child. Some of my relevant tweets included: “So brave, so 
stunning, so progressive. Well done @CharlizeA frica. I raised my children as 
non-arboreal multicellular carbon-based agents. I did not impose a species 
on them. It’s for them to decide whether they wish to be part of Homo 
sapiens or not.” I continued with: “I'm following the lead of the parental 
heroism of @CharlizeAfrica. ’ve advised my non-arboreal multicellular 
carbon-based agents (children) that they do not need to call my wife and I 
‘mom’ and ‘dad’ respectively. We are gender-neutral non-binary caregivers 1 
and 2.” And I finished off with the introduction of a new concept, periodic 
table fluidity: “I don’t want my children to be restricted to viewing 
themselves as carbon-based. This is why I am now immersing them in the 

fluidity of the Periodic Table. I’ve asked them to look at all elements and 
decide which ones they self-identify with (in terms of their building 
blocks).”°? My satire is not meant to denigrate the very real, and very rare, 
condition of gender dysphoria. However, I do recognize the statistical 
improbability of the number of parents who are now “coming out” as 
parents of trans children. Children are meant to be protected and cherished 
in the privacy of a family. They are not meant to be virtue-signaling social- 
justice pawns for impressing progressive friends. 

Progressivism itself is a cognitively inconsistent and axiomatically 
irrational belief system. Let us examine how age becomes a fluid marker of 
one’s cognitive abilities as a function of ideological expediency. If an 
individual commits a premeditated heinous murder at the age of seventeen 
years and three hundred sixty-four days, the progressives would be the first 
to proclaim that he should be tried in juvenile court. After all, he is a “child” 
who cannot fully comprehend the consequences of his actions. He is 
apparently too impulsive to make sound judgments given that his prefrontal 
cortex is yet to be fully developed. The brains of adolescents continue to 
develop well into their twenties, and as such, to punish an adolescent 
murderer is “cruel” and hardly progressive.*” On the other hand, when it 
comes to the age at which individuals should be allowed to vote in national 
elections, many progressive Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy 
Pelosi, support the idea of reducing the age to sixteen.*! When it comes to 
enlisting in the United States military and being shipped off to foreign lands 
to kill bad guys, one’s prefrontal cortex apparently becomes sufficiently 
developed at the age of seventeen. However, according to many progressive 
parents including Charlize Theron, a three-year-old has the necessary 
cognitive and emotional maturity to make a definitive pronouncement 
about gender identity. Jean Piaget, a historic figure in developmental 
psychology, is undoubtedly rolling in his grave. Unlike Piaget, whose 
pioneering work delineated clear stages of cognitive development that apply 
across children, progressives are very fluid about how age affects our ability 
to think, feel, and act—which is why we are forbidden to criticize the 
arrogantly sanctimonious, if not pathologically hysteric, seventeen-year-old 
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who is trying to save us 
from our evil ways. In the land of progressive Unicornia, science is only 

valuable if it is consistent with ideological dogma. Otherwise it is nothing 
more than bigoted hate facts. 

In a recent case in Florida, a biologically female middle-school student 
who self-identifies as male was allowed entry to the boys’ locker room 
without the male students’ or their parents’ having a say in the matter. One 
male teacher refused to monitor the locker room in the presence of the trans 
individual as he did not feel it appropriate to view a naked young 
biologically female student.” Is the teacher being transphobic? Do the boys 
have a right to refuse to undress in front of a biological girl or would that be 
an example of transphobia? Is it not illiberal to trample the rights of 
everyone in order to accommodate the trans student? This is yet another 
manifestation of the tyranny of the minority. Celebrate and accommodate 
my self-identity which conflicts with biological reality, or else risk the wrath 
of the progressive police, and possibly institutional if not legal repercussions. 

The Wacky World of Academic Feminism 

Feminism, throughout its history, has ameliorated the lives of 
innumerable women around the world, but, like any ideology or institution, 
it seeks to perpetuate itself, and that now requires maintaining a 
manufactured victimhood narrative. How to achieve this perpetual 
victimhood nirvana? The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI) offers the 
solution. It is a psychometric scale consisting of twenty-two items that 
measures hostile sexism (eleven items) and benevolent sexism (eleven 
items). The former refers to such unacceptable forms of sexism as sexual 
harassment or paying women lesser wages than men for the same job, but it 
might surprise you to learn that if men idolize women, place them on a 
pedestal, proclaim that their lives are incomplete without them, and seek to 
protect them, they are vile benevolent sexists! The eleven statements used to 
measure benevolent sexism are reproduced below.** Respondents are asked 
to rate each statement using a six-point disagree strongly to agree strongly 
scale. Items 3, 6, and 13 are reverse-coded to ensure that respondents are 
paying attention to the task and are accordingly being consistent in their 

1. No matter how accomplished he is, a man is not truly complete as a person 
unless he has the love of a woman 


In a disaster, women ought not necessarily to be rescued before men* 

. People are often truly happy in life without being romantically involved with a 

member of the other sex* 

Many women have a quality of purity that few men possess 

Women should be cherished and protected by men 

12. Every man ought to have a woman whom he adores 

13. Men are complete without women* 

17. A good woman should be set on a pedestal by her man 

19. Women, compared to men, tend to have a superior moral sensibility 

20. Men should be willing to sacrifice their own well-being in order to provide 
financially for the women in their lives 

22. Women, as compared to men, tend to have a more refined sense of culture and 

good taste 



Humans are a sexually reproducing species, and one of the most 
fundamental human drives is to find a mate and form a meaningful union 
with a member of the opposite sex. But according to the ASI, a man who 
admits to such a drive is succumbing to benevolent sexism. It does not take a 
sophisticated Peed! psychologist to understand the utter lunacy of 
such a stance.“* Note also that any man who seeks to protect and cherish 
women is a vile sexist. It is perhaps not surprising then that a recent study 
found that people are less likely to perform life-saving CPR on women.*” 
Apparently, four decades of feminist Draiwastine and witch hunts have 
taught men too well. It is better to be a “non-sexist” cowardly bystander than 
a “sexist” hero. Someone should advise women to stop fantasizing about 
courageous firefighters and heroic uniformed soldiers. There is a new sheriff 
in town who epitomizes a progressive definition of masculinity: Apathetic 
Cowardly Bystander Man. Incidentally, there is an extraordinary cognitive 
inconsistency inherent here. Men are repeatedly lectured about stepping up 
to serve as allies to women in the workplace, but if they do so, they are 
engaging in benevolent sexism. All roads lead to sexism. 

Of the many dreadful anti-science idea pathogens to spring from the 
delusional world of gender studies, few are as corrosive as the nonsensical 
concept of toxic masculinity.*° Nearly twenty years ago, Christina Hoff 
Sommers authored an important book on the unrelenting attack on boys.*7 
The problem has only worsened since. It is perhaps not a good idea to 
pathologize half of humanity when dealing with a sexually reproducing 
species. Countless prestigious universities now offer talks, seminars, if not 

full courses on how to unlearn, combat, and overcome toxic masculinity.*® 

My alma mater Cornell University hosted a talk on the use of fashion to 
combat toxic masculinity whereas Lehigh University created a Men’s 
Therapeutic Cuddle Group to combat the scourge of this dreadful 
“pathology.”*? A professor of education has recently suggested that children 
as young as kindergarten students should be taught how to combat toxic 
masculinity.°° Ideologues are always keen on infecting young children with 

their idea pathogens, as this is the most opportune time for the brainwashing 

process to begin. Radical feminism is indeed a spreading virus. 

What is toxic masculinity? Well, it is apparently the undesirable elements 
of being male. This might include being hyper-competitive in sports, 
exhibiting social or physical dominance, or refraining from being too 
emotional in public. Toxic masculinity is ascribed as the culprit of 
innumerable social ills including violence, war, and sexual assault. If only we 
could detoxify men to retain the good components of their masculinity—as 
the Gillette company recently implored all toxic men to do via a 
breathtakingly condescending and insulting ad—then the world would be a 
better place. It is important to note, though, that toxic masculinity is not 
restricted to the stereotypically brawny hyper-masculine types. One should 
also be wary of toxic geek masculinity as exemplified by the male characters 
on the television show The Big Bang Theory.” Note that both hyper- 
masculine Navy SEALs and beta geeks who belong to the Logarithms Are 
Cool Club are manifestations of toxic masculinity. All roads lead to toxic 
masculinity including your preferred diet. Veganism promotes white 
masculinity, but meat-eating is an instantiation of potentially toxic, 
hegemonic masculinity.” To be on the safe side, I recommend that men 
restrict their diets to eating eggs and cheese. The only prospective problem 
though is that most eggshells and cheeses are white so this diet might be a 
subtle manifestation of internalized white supremacy. I truly see only one 
solution here: men must engage in collective fasting until death visits them, 
which would directly help reduce toxic masculinity. Dear men, if you truly 
wish to serve as allies to women, collective suicide or perhaps collective 
castration should be seriously considered. 

Many academic feminists are unhappy with the delineation of toxic 
masculinity from masculinity in general. Their position, a rather common 
one in women’s studies programs, is that masculinity is inherently 

“problematic.” No need for the toxic qualifier. Lisa Wade, a feminist and 
sociology professor at Occidental College, explained: 

Trump’s masculinity is what we call a toxic masculinity. In the 
pre-Trump era, the modifier was used to differentiate bad 
masculine ideals from good ones. Toxic masculinities, some 
claimed, were behind sexual assault, mass shootings, and the weird 
thing where men refuse to wear sunscreen, but they didn’t reflect 
masculinity generally, so one had to leave that idea alone. But we 
can only give masculinity so many modifiers for so long before we 
have to confront the possibility that it is masculinity itself that has 

become the problem. = [Italics in original.] 

Since being male is inherently bad, it is perhaps not surprising that 
Suzanna Danuta Walters, a professor of sociology, director of the Women’s, 
Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University, and 
editor of the gender studies journal Signs penned an article in the 
Washington Post titled “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” It concluded: 

So men, if you really are #WithUs and would like us to not hate 
you for all the millennia of woe you have produced and benefited 
from, start with this: Lean out so we can actually just stand up 
without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women 
only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step 
away from the power. We got this. And please know that your 
crocodile tears won’t be wiped away by us anymore. We have 
every right to hate you. You have done us wrong. 

#BecausePatriarchy. It is long past time to play hard for Team 

Feminism. And win. 

In 1998, Hillary Clinton said at a conference on domestic violence in El 
Salvador that “Women have always been the primary victims of war. 
Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat.”*° One 
might think that since, historically, men are the ones who have died in the 
millions, often for such noble causes as defending their countries, their 
homes, and their families, that they might be the primary victims of war, but 
no, women are always the victims. Gender studies programs are founded on 
the “I am a victim therefore I am” ethos. All roads lead to victimhood. As 

many feminist academics and female politicians have proclaimed, the future 
is female indeed. 

In case you thought that academic feminism is restricted to the delusional 
and conspiratorial world of gender studies, let me disabuse you of that 
notion. Science itself can apparently be illuminated by the unique lens of 
feminist epistemology. Fields that you might have thought were immune 
from this nonsense have all been slowly infected with this idea pathogen. We 
now have feminist architecture, feminist biology, feminist physics, feminist 
chemistry, feminist geography, feminist mathematics, and feminist 
glaciology.”” This next sentence comes from the abstract of the paper on 
feminist glaciology: “Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and 
feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates 
robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social- 
ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and 
human-ice interactions.” Who knew that ice could be so sexist and 

Nearly 125 years ago, the feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman infamously 
proclaimed, “There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. As 
well speak of a female liver.”°* One would have thought that the thousands 
of scientific studies documenting the biological, anatomical, physiological, 
morphological, hormonal, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral differences 
between the two sexes might have put a dent in those obstinate refusals to 
accept the existence of biologically-based sex differences. To use an old 
aphorism, the more things change, the more they remain the same. The 
latest instantiation of this lunacy is packaged as neurosexism. It is apparently 
sexist to demonstrate that men and women exhibit neuroanatomical 
differences. Instead, flat-earthers of the human mind and other deniers of 
reality point to some neuroscientific studies that have yielded similarities 
across the two sexes on some brain metric such as the thickness of a specific 
cortical area, and voila, male and female brains become indistinguishable.”” 
This is logically equivalent to arguing that since men and women each have 
ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, and two kidneys, they are indistinguishable 
beings. Along the same lines, since the Great Dane (largest dog breed) and 
the Chihuahua (smallest dog breed) both have two eyes, one tail, four legs, 
and two ears, they are indistinguishable. I recently announced on my 
YouTube channel that my family would be adopting a giraffe since we are 

unable to distinguish it from a dog (as both have a tail, two eyes, and teeth 
among many other morphological similarities, they must be the same 
species).©” The reality is that there are innumerable neuroanatomical sex 
differences that have been documented in the literature.°! That said, even 
when a specific anatomical trait is the same across the two sexes, this does 
not imply that its functionality is the same because brain structures interact 
with hormones in sex-specific ways. What is particularly galling is that 
neurosexism was positively covered in Nature, one of the most prestigious 
scientific journals.© No platform is safe from idea pathogens especially 
when they are being propagated by individuals willing to sacrifice truth in 
the service of their pet ideologies. 

Radical feminists are staunch supporters of the Diversity, Inclusion, and 
Equity cult when it suits them, but they are silent on the bewildering lack of 
gender parity in women’s studies departments.” I suppose that one would 
not want to damage the “important” scholarly work conducted in such 
departments with an infusion of toxic masculinity. Radical feminists do not 
complain that men constitute the overwhelming majority when it comes to 
occupational deaths. Nor do they bat an eye at the fact that men are much 
more likely to commit suicide, be the victim of a murder, be incarcerated, be 
homeless, and have a much lower life expectancy. These global realities are 
undoubtedly due to their toxic masculinity. But the radical feminists are very 
keen to promulgate the illusory gender gap in salaries even though this 
canard has been refuted on innumerable occasions.°* The Women’s World 
Cup in soccer recently took place in France. The U.S. women’s national 
team, who won the tournament, trashed lowly Thailand 13-0 in the group 
stage. The success of the team triggered the ire of a broad range of social 
justice warriors, all of whom demanded equal pay for female soccer players. 
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand remarked that since thirteen goals was a record in 
a World Cup game, women should be paid as much as men.°° Vox pointed 
out that the women’s team had scored more goals in one game than the U.S. 
men’s team had scored in all of its World Cup games since 2006.%° And 
finally, the United Nations pointed to the fact that one male player (Lionel 
Messi) makes nearly double the income of all female players in the top seven 
women’s leagues.°” It is truly difficult to imagine that people could offer 
such unimaginably fallacious “arguments.” Leading women’s national teams 
(including the United States team) have played matches against local boys 

club teams (with boys fifteen years old or younger) and were clobbered.® It’s 
the differential talent between the two sexes that drives viewership of the 
matches. It’s called Economics 101. That the U.S. women’s team scored 
thirteen goals in a game is as relevant to the gender pay gap issue as the fact 
that some youth league team in Denver just defeated another team 15 to 0. 
Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest soccer player in history. He is probably 
the most famous person in the world. Most people cannot name five female 
players, let alone know that seven women’s soccer leagues exist. This is not 
due to the patriarchy but a mere recognition of the fact that economic 
realities drive many instantiations of the salary gap. It is the same reason that 
Lady Gaga makes unimaginably more money than I do. Her grotesquely 
larger salary is not due to endemic anti-Semitism against war refugees (me) 
but a reflection of how market forces work. Perhaps we could get Alexandria 
Ocasio-Cortez to use her economics degree to explain this point to 

Given that they are so wrong, how do the ideologues defend their idea 
pathogens? Under totalitarian regimes, the solution is direct. You 
criminalize if not violently suppress (or kill) any dissenting voices. In the 
West, the ideological indoctrination is subtler. It is achieved by an ethos of 
political correctness and best enforced by creating university campuses that 
lack intellectual diversity. Political correctness is like the sting of the spider 
wasp. Recall that the afflicted spider is dragged to the wasp’s burrow in a 
zombie-like state and is subsequently eaten in vivo by the wasp’s offspring. 
Political correctness achieves the same macabre objective—it allows 
nefarious ideas to slowly consume us while we sit quietly in a zombie-like 
state, too afraid to speak out. Political correctness echoes the words that 
Mohamed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 plot, gave to the doomed passengers of 
the plane he hijacked: “Nobody move. Everything will be OK. If you try to 
make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet.... 
Nobody move, please. We are going back to the airport. Don’t try to make 
any stupid moves.”®” Similarly, intellectual terrorists instruct generations of 
gullible students to remain quiet in their classroom seats while they inculcate 
them with anti-science nonsense. Please refrain from asking questions. 
Please do not engage your faculties of critical thinking. Intellectual resistance 
is futile. Memorize the content of my indoctrination and be quiet. 
Universities serve as the training ground of the politically correct thought 
police and their social justice warriors. 


Campus Lunacy: The Rise of the Social Justice 

‘Tm a liberal professor and my liberal students terrify me. I have 
intentionally adjusted my teaching as the political winds have 
shifted.... Hurting a student’s feelings, even in the course of 
instruction that is absolutely appropriate and respectful, can now 
get a teacher into serious trouble.” 

—Edward Schlosser! 

“The tyranny of the minority is infinitely more odious and 

intolerable and more to be feared than that of the majority. 
—President William McKinley 

Student-activist social justice warriors (SJWs) might be outnumbered on 
campuses, yet they rule via the tyranny of the minority, backed by 
“progressive” professors and campus administrators. Together, they enforce 
a stifling climate of political correctness that we associate with things like 

» « » « 

“trigger warnings,” “safe spaces,” “microaggressions,” and campus speech 
codes, all of which empower the perpetually indignant and outraged.” To 
progressives, feelings trump truth; empirical statements are no longer judged 
by their veracity but by whether they are potentially “bigoted”—in which 
case they must be suppressed in the name of inclusiveness. Given that 
feelings are the engine by which one’s existence is validated, a culture of 
offence has taken shape where it pays to be a member of the perpetually 
aggrieved. This creates the competitive urge to be positioned advantageously 
in a victimhood hierarchy. The Oppression Olympics (also known as 
Victimology Poker) is the arena wherein this competition of victimhood 

takes place, using identity politics and intersectionality (“I am a Queer Fat 


Muslim Disabled Transgendered Black Feminist”) to establish the “winners” 
of this grotesque theatre of the absurd. I propose that SJWs exhibit a form of 
Collective Munchausen Syndrome (a psychiatric disorder where an 
individual feigns a medical condition to garner sympathy). Ultimately, the 
ethos is I am a victim therefore I am. This fetishizing of victimhood was 
alluded to long ago by the eminent British philosopher Bertrand Russell in 

his essay aptly titled “The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed.”* 

Even if you hold a strong hand in Victimology Poker, do not presume 
that the progressive mob of SJWs won’t come after you. The bestselling 
author Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali woman born into the Islamic faith who 
faced personal hardships at the hands of a deeply patriarchal and misogynist 
society. The political host Dave Rubin is a gay Jew who used to be a proud 
member of the left. The journalist Andy Ngo is a gay Asian man. Once they 
violated central tenets of progressivism (criticizing Islam or the radical left), 
they lost their protective identity shields. They became fair game to the 
tornado of progressive rage. Ngo was violently attacked by Antifa agitators, 
leading to his hospitalization. This was apparently acceptable to many 
progressives because Ngo held “incorrect” views.” Many liberal professors 
have had to learn this lesson the hard way, including Laura Kipnis 
(Northwestern University), Rebecca Tuvel (Rhodes College), Bret Weinstein 
(Evergreen State College), and Michael Rectenwald (New York University). 
They had the gall to raise, respectively, questions about rape culture on 
campus, transgenderism, race-based leftist activism on campus, and the 
radical left on campus. This triggered the ire of the progressive priesthood. 
When there are no longer scary MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporters to 
tar and feather on campus, the progressive mob will turn against its less pure 
members. The radical snake always ends up eating its tail. ISIS kills all 
Muslims who are not Muslim enough. Progressives denounce all those who 
are not progressive enough. 

Safe Spaces and Echo Chambers Are Maladaptive 

SJWs push the victim narrative by saying that opposing viewpoints 
constitute a form of “violence” from which they need protection, which is 
why they believe it is perfectly acceptable to force university administrators 
to disinvite speakers with whom they disagree. With the combination of 

SJW student activists and the lopsided political leanings of the professoriate, 
one has the perfect recipe for the creation of the sterile ideological echo 
chambers that universities have become. Neuropsychiatrist Steve 
Stankevicius has pointed out the dangers inherent in the intellectual sterility 
of academia by comparing it to the dangers children face if they grow up in 
allergen-poor (sterile) environments.° Such children are more likely to 
develop respiratory ailments because the human body requires exposure to 
allergens in order to jump-start its immunological defenses. An analogical 
process is taking place among the current generation of university students 
as they receive their education within intellectually sterile settings. They do 
not develop the critical thinking skills, let alone the emotional maturity, to 
navigate through disagreements. 

Evolution has endowed us with mechanisms of behavioral adaptation. 
Evolutionary scientists, for example, explain that people in warmer climates 
tend to have spicier cuisines, because spices offer antimicrobial protection 
against foodborne pathogens, which are more likely to be present in warmer 
climates.’ This demonstrates how cultural forms (national cuisine) serve as 
adaptive responses to biological challenges (exposure to microbes). 
Behavioral ecologists examine such cross-cultural differences as adaptive 
responses to local contingencies. The capacity to be adaptable, though, does 
not solely take place at the cultural level. It also occurs within an individual’s 
body. Take our immune system, for example. It has evolved to be adaptable 
precisely because it needs to combat rapidly mutating pathogens. If our 
immunological defenses had been selected to solely destroy a fixed set of 
pathogens, humans would have all died out a long time ago. Instead, the 
immune system is extraordinarily flexible in its capacity to find “on the fly” 
solutions when defending against mutated versions of different pathogens. 
Similarly, our behavioral immune system consists of adaptive responses to 
distinct conditions.° For example, an increase in the extent to which one’s 
immune system has been compromised by illness over a given time period, 
the more likely one is to prefer spicy foods.’ Hence, evolution has endowed 
us with adaptability within an individual (immune system), across 
individuals (behavioral immune system), and across cultures (antimicrobial 
use of spices). Our bodies and minds expect exposure to novel and unfolding 
situations, but when it comes to our critical thinking faculties, we are 
shutting them down. So many university graduates today are unable to 

debate because they have never been exposed to opposing viewpoints, and 
they consider opposing viewpoints simply as heresies to be met with protest 
and hysterical fits. To function optimally, our evolved faculty for critical 
thinking expects to be challenged by contrary positions. 

Creating sterile safe spaces is not restricted to the university campus. I 
recently hosted the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, on my YouTube 
channel. = During our conversation, I made the point that it was suboptimal 
for Twitter to be monitoring people’s language on the platform. Healthy 
human beings are anti-fragile. In other words, people have to be exposed to 
the ugliness of social interactions. They cannot be protected in a sanitized 
bubble expecting that all interactions will be polite, uplifting, and enriching. 
Just as immunotherapy against food allergies exposes young children to 
minute traces of the allergens so that, with an incremental increase in the 
exposure dosage, the body will build immunity against that particular 
allergen, so too do people need to be exposed to the full repertoire of human 
interactions so that they can develop as intellectually and emotionally 
healthy individuals."! And yet today, we are creating a generation of young 
people who are too brittle to handle opposing opinions, and who fold into a 
fetal position of feigned victimhood when confronted by so-called 

“microaggressions,” a concept that lacks scientific validity.'” 

The fostering of emotional fragility is further assured by the use of trigger 
warnings, which are meant to protect university students from potentially 
upsetting stimuli. Recall my personal history in Lebanon. Few people have 
experienced the horrors that I have lived through, and yet I learned to 
overcome my past without needing trigger warnings to navigate through life. 
Needless to say, such distressing experiences of inhumanness have left an 
indelible mark on my psyche. I may have left Lebanon long ago, but it has 
never left me. One of the recurring nightmares that has haunted my sleep 
comes in two forms: 1) I am barricaded in our house and am about to 
engage (or am engaging) the incoming “bad guys” with my weapon when I 
realize that I am out of ammunition; 2) The same dream but my weapon 
jams, and I’m unable to fire it. Notwithstanding this childhood trauma, I 
have not wallowed in my past. I do not require trigger warnings prior to 
seeing a war movie. Rather, as any therapist would surely advise, one must 
overcome negative experiences and move forward. Trigger warnings 
infantilize human resilience by coddling young adults into thinking that they 

do not possess the psychological strength to face life. Of course, there are 
unique situations that require humane and gentle care, and in such 
instances, a caring and kind professor should consider the matter with due 
sensitivity. But the wholesale codifying of trigger warnings as a default policy 
is a grotesque overreach. In a 2015 HuffPost article, I highlighted the 
extraordinary range of topics that are potentially “triggering” and hence that 

might necessitate trigger warnings. = These include: 

e Abuse (physical, mental, emotional, verbal, sexual), child abuse, 
rape, kidnapping 
Addiction, alcohol, drug use, needles 
Blood, vomit, insects, snakes, spiders, slimy things, corpses, 
skulls, skeletons 
Bullying, homophobia, transphobia 
Death, dying, suicide, injuries, descriptions, and/or images of 
medical procedures 
e Descriptions and/or images of violence or warfare, Nazi 
Pregnancy, childbirth 
Racism, classism, sexism, sizeism, ableism, other “isms” 
Sex (even if consensual) 
Swearing, slurs (including words such as “stupid” or “dumb”) 

Anything that might elicit intrusive thoughts in Obsessive- 
Compulsive Disorder sufferers 

Really, the list is endless, which is why I have suggested the following 
Universal Trigger Warning: “Using your brain to navigate the real world 
should not entail a trigger warning. This course will assume that you possess 
the cognitive and emotional acuity of an adult. Life is your trigger warning.” 

Trigger warnings are antithetical to a fundamental principle of exposure 
therapy, a well-researched therapeutic approach for combatting generalized 
anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias (like arachnophobia), 
panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress 
disorder.'* Under this approach, patients are exposed to their triggering 
stimulus with the hope that they will learn strategies for coping with their 
phobias and fears. The few studies that have empirically tested the efficacy of 

trigger warnings indicate that they make students more likely to avoid 
“triggers,” !> hinder emotional resilience, and were ineffective even for 

people with prior trauma.!’ Even though trigger warnings might offer a 

temporary reduction in painful emotions, they do not promote a healthy 
mindset for traversing the stochasticity of life. 

What Are Universities For? 

Leonhard Euler, the great eighteenth-century mathematician proclaimed: 
“For since the fabric of the universe is most perfect and the work of a most 
wise Creator, nothing at all takes place in the universe in which some rule of 

maximum or minimum does not appear.”'* Many times we need to identify 
some optimal real-world course of action (such as whether to maximize 
profit or minimize wait time). Operations research (or management science) 
is the academic discipline that uses analytical techniques to find these 
optimal courses of action. In some instances, natural selection has 
programmed optimal behavior into an organism’s brain. This is the idea 
behind optimal foraging theory, which examines how animals optimize their 

foraging behaviors to maximize their caloric intake while minimizing the 

caloric expenditure.” 

During my undergraduate studies in mathematics and computer science, 
and subsequently as an M.B.A. student, I worked as a research assistant at 
GERAD (Groupe d’études et de recherche en analyse des décisions, which in 
English translates to Group for Research in Decision Analysis). The center is 
composed of applied mathematicians and computer scientists from across 
several Montreal universities dedicated to solving optimization problems 
using a slew of algorithmic approaches. At GERAD, I worked on the Two- 
Dimensional Cutting Stock Problem, a classic optimization challenge. 
Suppose that a wood, glass, or metal company receives an order to cut 
specific numbers of rectangles and squares of varying sizes using standard 
sheets of the raw material in question. How should the guillotine cuts be 
made so that the order is filled while minimizing the amount of waste in the 
original sheets? Another minimization problem is the Travelling Salesman 
Problem. Suppose that a salesman is tasked with visiting a given number of 
cities only once each and return to the starting point. What is the shortest 
path that would allow the salesman to complete this objective? These are 

minimization problems, but there are also maximization problems. For 
instance, consider a firm that produces four different products with four 
different selling prices, raw materials used, and machine time. The challenge 
is to identify the optimal product manufacturing mix that will maximize the 
firm’s profits. 

The optimal solution to any such problem hinges on which variable one 
chooses to optimize. An architect might choose to minimize the total cost of 
erecting a building and/or its time of completion. This might yield drab 
architectural designs akin to the housing projects found in many large 
American cities where the objective is to offer a maximal number of 
dwellings as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Alternatively, an architect 
might seek to optimize a building’s biophilic imprint (maximizing the 
number of design features that cater to our innate love of nature). The 
choice of which variable to optimize will yield radically different 
architectural designs. To further complicate matters, many complex, real- 
world problems require the concurrent optimization of several discordant 
variables (such as pursuing an investment strategy that maximizes returns 
while minimizing risk, which results in a diversified investment portfolio). 
The challenge then becomes to identify the optimal trade-off between the 
conflicting variables. 

If companies seek to maximize profits while travelling salesmen seek to 
minimize total distance travelled, which variables should a university be 
trying to optimize? Surely, universities exist to create and disseminate new 
knowledge. But this is no longer true. Today the minimization of hurt 
feelings among preferred groups is fundamentally more important (at least 
in some disciplines) than the pursuit of truth. The creation of safe spaces 
supersedes free speech and intellectual enrichment. Social justice activism 
trumps the quest for truth. To put it in the language of operations research, 
historically a university's objective function was to maximize the intellectual 
growth of students and professors subject only to the constraints of 
university budgets. Today, many universities are driven by a multi-objective 
optimization problem: maximize intellectual growth while minimizing hurt 
feelings, or maximize intellectual growth and social justice activism while 
minimizing hurt feelings. 

A case in point is Palo Alto University, a small regional institution that 
came into national prominence during Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate 

confirmation hearings. This is the university where Christine Blasey Ford, 
who accused Kavanaugh of a sexual assault that supposedly had taken place 
thirty-six years earlier, held an appointment as a professor of psychology. I 
decided to visit the institution’s website to gauge its core mission, thinking 
that it would be a hotbed of social justice warrior activists. I was not 

disappointed. Here are the first three of its eight listed core values:”° 

1. Social justice, cultural competency, and diversity 

2. A student-centered and culturally responsive environment 

3. High quality scientific research and scholarship that advances the 
state of knowledge and practice 

If you want to know what’s wrong with higher education, this reversal of 
traditional university priorities—with social justice now at the top and 
scholarship lower on the totem pole—is a good place to start. 

The Homeostasis of Victimology 

Bear with me as I provide a little background on the ubiquity of 
homeostasis, how we study it, and its implications, because it will help 
illustrate an important point about victimology. Many biological and man- 
made systems are governed by processes that seek to maintain a set or 
optimal equilibrium level. For example, a room thermostat regulates the 
flow of cold or hot air such that a set temperature is maintained. The human 
body contains several such homeostatic systems including processes that 
control one’s body temperature, glucose levels, and arterial pressure. 
Homeostatic systems are not restricted to physiological processes. Several 
influential psychological theories are based on the idea of homeostasis.” The 
psychologist John M. Fletcher drew a parallel between physiological and 
psychological homeostasis: “The rise of temper against an insult is not 
essentially different from the rise of temperature against infection. Both 
represent the attempts of an organism to maintain status; in the one case it is 
a body status, in the other it is a social status that is to be maintained. vee 
Drive-reduction theory posits that humans are compelled to reduce the 
discrepancy between a current state and a desired state in order to meet a 
physiological or psychological need. For example, when hungry or thirsty, 

an individual will to act to slake their hunger or thirst. Drive reduction 
theory can explain a very broad range of human phenomena. Homeostatic 
comparisons are also the key element in what is known as multiple 
discrepancies theory, which focuses on how people measure satisfaction with 
elements of their lives.” For example, I might gauge the discrepancy (if any) 
between my current income and what I expected to have at this stage in my 
career. Or I could contrast my current income to that of my relevant peers. 
The bottom line is that there are multiple ways by which one might establish 
a discrepancy between a current and desired state, and accordingly be 
motivated to close that gap. 

Homeostatic processes are operative in many applied contexts including 
in my own field of consumer psychology. According to optimal stimulation 
level theory, individuals’ behaviors are driven in part by a desire to achieve a 
set threshold of stimulation in their daily lives, with the threshold 
determined by personality type. For example, consumers who are high 
sensation seekers are more likely to explore a wider variety of products.” 
Homeostatic processes can help explain cultural differences in consumption 
patterns. For example, aggregate consumer choices (like a taste for coffee or 
alcohol) can be linked to a country’s climate (temperature and sunlight) and 

be seen as adaptive homeostatic responses to local environments.”° 

Homeostatic processes can yield unwelcome consequences. Risk 
homeostasis theory holds that people will alter their behaviors to maintain a 
desired level of risk in their lives, which is why mandatory safety features on 
cars—like seat belts, antilock brakes, and airbags—cause some individuals to 
drive more recklessly.”° More than twenty years ago, I was approached by 
two researchers to investigate links between running shoes and various 
injuries. Specifically, they had found that more expensive running shoes 
(with ostensibly superior injury-prevention features) yielded greater injuries 
because of altered gaits.”” This was likely a manifestation of a gait 
homeostatic process, where runners subconsciously increased the force with 
which their feet were hitting the pavement because their shoes had thicker 
protective padding. 

Homeostasis also plays a part in what researchers call the prevalence- 

induced concept change effect.”* Suppose that you are asked to identify 
whether a dot is blue. This should not depend on how many blue dots you've 

previously been exposed to—but it does. When there are fewer blue dots, 
people will code purple dots as blue. Researchers replicated this finding 
using pictures of threatening faces. When participants were shown fewer 
threatening faces, they judged neutral faces as threatening. In short, I posit 
that this is a form of homeostasis, namely people are driven to maintain the 
frequency of a stimulus at a set level, even if they have to engage in 
perceptual distortions to do so. This is precisely what has led to the spike in 
the number of exaggerated victimhood narratives, if not outright hate and 
harassment hoaxes. The narrative that we live in a hate-filled society, where 
marginalized groups fear for their lives, must be protected at all costs. 

Psychologist Nick Haslam’s idea of “concept creep” is very relevant to my 
homeostatic argument.” He argues that what constitutes harm and 
pathology has been massively expanded, and he uses six examples to 
demonstrate this (abuse, bullying, trauma, mental disorder, addiction, and 
prejudice).”” In the abstract to his excellent article, Haslam warns: “Although 
conceptual change is inevitable and often well motivated, concept creep runs 
the risk of pathologizing everyday experience and encouraging a sense of 
virtuous but impotent victimhood.” While he offers some speculative 
explanations for this trend, I would argue that my homeostasis of 
victimology is the simplest. A set level of victimhood must be achieved. If an 
insufficient number of victimhood cases exist, alter the definition of 
victimhood and turn banal daily interactions into “exciting” data supporting 

The homeostasis of victimology, concept creep, and political correctness 
can at times lead to truly baffling moral hypocrisy. The Canadian prime 
minister Justin Trudeau was unwilling to concede that ISIS had committed 
genocide but was willing to accept the word “genocide” in a report 
documenting that indigenous women were murdered at a higher rate than 
the Canadian national average.’! The great majority of these murdered 
indigenous women were murdered by indigenous men, but the self- 
flagellant-in-chief laid the blame on “genocidal” Canadians. The 
government of Turkey has steadfastly refused to accept the existence of the 
Armenian genocide while the Canadian government confesses to a fictitious 
genocide. Both engage in a grotesque murder of the truth, albeit for different 

The homeostasis of victimology can result in truly bewildering cases of 
feigned outrage and manufactured victimhood. In 2017, Lorne Grabher had 
his vanity plate “GRABHER” revoked by the Nova Scotia Registrar of Motor 
Vehicles because of its “inappropriate” nature.*” The case was heard by the 
Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and that judgment is now in the hands of the 
Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.°? The Nova Scotia government (the 
defendant) issued an expert report produced by Carrie Rentschler, an 
associate professor of feminist media studies at McGill University (one of 
my alma maters), declaring that the license plate condones violence against 
women and perpetuates rape culture. Rentschler even found a way to link 
the issue to Donald Trump (as per his leaked interview with Billy Bush 
wherein he uttered the now infamous phrase “grab them by the pussy”). This 
is not satire. A man’s actual surname is now considered to be a form of 
violence against women. In 2016, Humanities dean Jodi Kelly of Seattle 
University was removed from her administrative post when she uttered the 
word “nigger” in a conversation with a student.** This sounds awfully 
bigoted and inappropriate until one finds out that she was recommending a 
book of that title written by black civil rights activist Dick Gregory. She was 
responding to a request for a greater diversity of authors in assigned 
readings! It is truly soul crushing to see that our society has reached this level 
of political correctness and faux-outrage. In the immortal words of Voltaire, 
“Common sense is not so common.” The list of faux-outrage is truly endless 
and includes the temporary removal of weighing scales at a Carleton 
University gym (as these might be triggering to those with body image 
issues)? and the renaming of an otherwise “sexist” sandwich (Gentleman’s 
Smoke Chicken Caesar Roll by Waitrose).”° 
of victimology is perhaps best captured by a quote from feminist Anita 

’ My theory on the homeostasis 
Sarkeesian, “Cause, like, when you start learning about systems, everything 
is sexist, everything is racist, everything is homophobic, and you have to 

point it all out to everyone all the time.”*” 

Case in point, there is a growing trend on university campuses to identify 
white supremacy everywhere. If there aren’t enough rabid racists around, 
just make them up to maintain the homeostasis of victimology. The Campus 
Reform website maintains an excellent repository of campus lunacy. In 
searching their site using the term “white supremacy,” I found that 
pumpkins, white marble in artwork, milk, university mascots, Halloween 

costumes, Disney, MAGA hats, statues of Thomas Jefferson, the GOP, 
Donald Trump, voting for Donald Trump, taking exams, saying “all lives 
matter” instead of “black lives matter,” having white children, calling for 
civility, refusing to partake in identity politics, promoting diversity of 
thought, meritocracy, capitalism, the United States Constitution, freedom of 
speech, Western literature, Medieval studies, scientific objectivity, science, 
and mathematics are among the many things that have often been “linked” 
to white supremacy by progressive professors.°*® Incidentally, if you are a 
non-racist white person who does not appreciate being accused of 
supporting white supremacy, you undoubtedly suffer from white fragility 
(according to author Robin DiAngelo, that is). 

The Weaponizing of Collective Munchausen 

In 2010, I authored a paper in a medical journal offering a possible 
Darwinian explanation for Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP).*? 
Unlike Munchausen Syndrome, where a person feigns illness in order to get 
sympathetic attention, MSbP is when a caretaker harms a child (or 
sometimes an elderly person or even a pet) to make the victim appear sick 
and thus gain sympathetic attention for the caretaker. Whereas the majority 
of sufferers of Munchausen syndrome are women (66.2 percent), nearly all 
perpetrators of MSbP are women (97.6 percent)."° Given my familiarity with 
these two forms of Munchausen disorder, I coined a new condition that 
captures the faux-victimhood mentality that has taken root in our societies: 
Collective Munchausen.*! Rather than feigning a medical condition or 
inflicting an injury, sufferers of Collective Munchausen seek attention, 
sympathy, and empathy by advertising their supposed victimhood status (or 
piggybacking on the victimhood of others, Collective Munchausen by Proxy). 
When Donald Trump won the United States presidential election in 2016, I 
began noticing a hysterical form of Collective Munchausen wherein faux- 
victims were feverishly vying for top spot on the prospective victimhood 
hierarchy. A hypothetical but illustrative Facebook post might look as 
follows: “Hi Gang, I am a bisexual woman of color, and now that Trump is 
going to be president, I don’t feel safe attending my college campus in rural 
Maine.” This might be followed by a cacophony of fake hysteria wherein 
members of various identity groups would testify as to how deathly afraid 
they too were of their eventual demise at the hands of Trump’s death squads. 

Many progressives have as one of their highest aspirations, to sit on top of 
the victimology pyramid. Forget about becoming a surgeon, a professor, a 
lawyer, a professional athlete, an artist, or a diplomat. Those pursuits are 
laden with the dreadful possibility of personal responsibility and hard work. 
Let the cries of faux-victimhood open the doors for you. Jussie Smollett, the 
otherwise minimally known actor of the series Empire, was unhappy with his 
“meagre” salary (more than $1 million per year). He was also undoubtedly 
displeased with his lack of fame. Only one solution remained to address this 
grave personal injustice: to orchestrate a fake hate crime attack on himself 
and ascend the victimhood hierarchy. Unfortunately for Smollett, he paid off 
the two Nigerian- Americans he had hired to “attack” him by check. If he had 
been smarter and paid in cash, he might be reaping all the societal rewards 
that befall Noble Victims. The political scientist Wilfred Reilly has 
documented several hundred “hate crime” hoaxes and analyzed the 
perpetrators. *~ Unsurprisingly, the hoaxers invariably hold a strong hand in 
Victimology Poker. 

Let us contrast Smollett’s chosen path to glory via feigned victimhood to a 
poignant personal story. When I completed my M.B.A. in 1990, I was trying 
to decide which doctoral program to enroll in. One of the universities that 
had accepted me was UC-Irvine, which happened to be close to my brother’s 
office. In the 1980s, he had built a very successful software recruiting 
company, and he suggested that I explore the possibility of working with 
him for a few years prior to embarking on my Ph.D. I visited the UC-Irvine 
campus, met some of the professors, and spent time at my brother’s office. I 
quickly realized that academia was the only path for me and decided against 
my brother’s kind invitation. Upon returning to Montreal, my mother, who 
had heard of my brother’s offer but was unaware that I had rejected it, took 
me aside for a quick chat. She was very concerned that I might decide 
against pursuing my Ph.D. and reminded me of the “shame” that might 
befall me if people were to find out that I had dropped out of school! I had a 
B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science and an M.B.A. (both from 
McGill University, one of the world’s leading universities) and yet this might 
be construed as a “drop out.” That I pursued a Ph.D. had nothing to do with 
any parental influences, but the moral of the story is the expected threshold 
of success that my mother had set for me. The goal was to achieve through 
personal responsibility, hard work, and merit, not to wallow in “victimhood” 
(which we theoretically could have done as Jewish refugees from Lebanon). 

Instead, we welcomed the opportunities offered by liberal, democratic 
countries like Canada and the United States. 

All Roads Lead to Bigotry—| Am a Victim Therefore | Am 

Fat acceptance activists and transgender activists are two groups questing 
for victimhood status via claims that offend reason and common sense. The 
fat acceptance movement has adeptly created a narrative of faux-victimhood 
by blatant lies on two fronts. First, the activists push a mantra of “healthy at 
any size” and deny that obesity is linked to a wide variety of serious diseases. 
Second, they propose that many overweight people (especially women) get 
ignored in the mating market because of “fatist” attitudes that stigmatize 
obesity. Some trans activists are just as creative in their rejection of reality. 
Two popular YouTube trans activists (Riley J. Dennis and Zinnia Jones) 
have proclaimed that it is “cissexist” for people to restrict their mating 
preferences to “cisnormative” individuals; or in other words, heterosexuality 
is bigoted.** It would seem that my marriage is transphobic because I never 

considered a transgendered individual as a prospective wife.** 

Of course, all roads lead to bigotry. If you are a white man not sexually 
attracted to black women, you are guilty of sexual racism (yes, the term 
exists). If you are a white man who is attracted to black women, you are a 
racist bigot who stereotypes black women as sexually voracious and 
objectifies their bodies. Plug any victim group into this equation and it 
works out the same. We all know that institutional racial segregation 
constitutes bigotry, but now so too does seeking to immerse yourself in the 
cultural practices of others—that makes you guilty of the bigotry of “cultural 
appropriation.” The homeostasis of victimology ensures that all roads lead to 
bigotry, thus violating the philosopher of science Karl Popper’s falsification 
principle (no data could falsify the victimhood narrative). 

The list of faux-outrage stemming from cultural appropriation is a long 
one. The actress Lena Dunham was concerned that her alma mater Oberlin 
College served sushi in the cafeteria, a clear case of cultural appropriation.” 
A self-described queer woman of color, chef Mithalee Rawat was aghast that 
white people had violated her Indian heritage by using bone broth, which 
she deemed colonialist theft.*° In the immortal words of the Soup Nazi on 
Seinfeld, “No soup for you!” Gastronomic appropriation is hardly the only 

road to bigotry. Sartorial bigotry can rear its ugly head at any moment, as 
evidenced by the singer Katy Perry, who had to apologize for having dressed 
as a geisha in her performance at the 2013 American Music Awards.*” 
Keziah Daum, a white high school student, wore a Chinese dress known as a 
qipao to her prom, and this triggered the faux-outrage brigade.*® Beware of 
how you wear your hair, especially if you are white, for this too could be a 
signal that you are a bigoted Nazi. Katy Perry made that mistake by wearing 
cornrows and later apologized for it” Kendall Jenner stirred controversy by 
sporting an Afro during a Vogue shoot.°° And a white male student at San 
Francisco State University was angrily accosted by a black woman who was 
outraged that he had dreadlocks.*! Other examples of faux-outrage over 
cultural appropriation stemming from the land of the insane (university 
campuses) include the University of Ottawa cancelling a yoga class,”* a 
resident assistant at Pitzer College angered by white people wearing hoop 
earrings,” and Lynne Bunch, a student at Louisiana State University who 

wrote an op-ed in The Daily Reveille (LSU’s student newspaper) proclaiming 

that the thickening of one’s eyebrows is a form of cultural appropriation.” 

Halloween is an event replete with dangerous traps of cultural 
appropriation and sartorial bigotry. Many universities have taken it upon 
themselves to warn their adult students to be culturally sensitive when 
choosing their Halloween costumes—this is best exemplified by what 
transpired in 2015 at Yale University. Erika Christakis, a lecturer in 
developmental psychology, wrote an extraordinarily meek and polite email 
to the Yale community questioning whether institutional warnings 
regarding Halloween costumes were a good idea, which led to a tsunami of 
outrage for not recognizing how bigoted Halloween costumes could be, 
ending ultimately in her resignation. The destructive appetite of the 
Halloween SJWs was not satiated. More blood had to be spilled so they next 
turned on her husband, Nicholas Christakis, a physician and professor of 
sociology, and intercepted him in one of the quads. When it became clear 
that he was in disagreement with their position (but was willing to engage in 
a conversation), they swore at him and tried to intimidate him. At one point, 
an indignant student proclaimed: “Then why the fuck did you accept the 
position [master of residential life at Silliman College]? Who the fuck hired 
you? You should step down! If that is what you think about being a master 
you should step down! It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not! 

Do you understand that? It’s about creating a home here. You are not doing 
that”? Apparently, the primary objective of an education at Yale University 
is not to expand one’s intellect and knowledge but to create “safe spaces.” In 
1944, young men stormed the beaches of Normandy to their near-certain 
deaths in a quest to combat true evil. Today, social justice warriors brave the 
evils of Halloween costumes and the diabolical professors who allow such 
sartorial bigotry to go unchecked. 

Never one to miss an opportunity to satirize the naturally lobotomized, I 
produced a clip on my YouTube channel wherein I offered temporary 
clearance to those wishing to culturally appropriate classic Lebanese 
dishes.”° I also implored my followers to send me their culture-specific 
clearances and to include a photo of their passports so I could be sure they 
truly belonged to the cultures they claimed. The responses were 
astoundingly funny and heartening in that they confirmed that there still 
remain innumerable sane people who can see through this mass hysteria of 
faux-outrage.”” Having cultural appropriation hanging over one’s head 
makes it harder to experience the full richness afforded by a multicultural 
and pluralistic society. 

If there ever were a genuine case of cultural appropriation, Senator 
Elizabeth Warren is guilty of it. She literally appropriated Native American 
culture as her own by constructing a false narrative about her ancestry. A 
subsequent genealogical test revealed that she was somewhere between 1/64 
to 1/1024 Native American, making her less of that ancestry than the average 
white American. And yet, she benefitted for several decades from this false 
narrative both in her academic and political career. Warren’s stunt was a 
manifestation of Collective Munchausen by Proxy. Piggyback on the tragic 
history of Native Americans to garner sympathy and gain all of the 
advantages of being a “victim.” Rachel Dolezal constitutes another case of 
genuine cultural (racial) appropriation. Recall that Dolezal is a white woman 
who for years presented herself as African American. When her ruse was 
discovered, she argued that she was transracial (she self-identifies as a black 
woman even though she is white). I look forward to explaining to my 
physician that ’m TransGravity, namely I self-identify as a thin person even 
though I’m overweight. I hope he can stop nagging me about needing to lose 
weight. Continuing with the trans theme, we now have the term transabled 
to refer to individuals who are born able-bodied but who experience a desire 

to be disabled; so desperate are they to be victims that they will actually 
disable themselves through self-harm, an emerging condition known as 
Body Integrity Identity Disorder.” Whether individuals manufacture a faux- 
narrative of victimhood or literally engage in actions that render them 
disabled, these are not manifestations of healthy and well-adjusted minds. 

Several years ago, Tal Nitzan, then a doctoral student at Hebrew 
University, authored an award-winning paper that examined the incidence 
of rape as perpetrated by Israeli Defense Forces on Palestinian women. 
Undoubtedly, the goal was to uncover an epidemic of rape to demonstrate 
how diabolical those evil Jews truly were. When no such empirical reality 
was found, it was concluded (you might need to sit down for this) that this 
was proof of the extent to which the Israelis dehumanized the Palestinians.” 
They were so hateful that they did not even consider the Palestinian women 
worthy of rape! If rapes are uncovered or if none are discovered, the same 
conclusion is reached: the Israelis are diabolical. All roads lead to self- 

flagellation and self-loathing. It’s the hallmark of a true “progressive.” 

Merchants of faux-outrage can not only ascribe victimhood status to 
Palestinian women for not being raped, but they can also construe kindness 
as a form of Islamophobia. Anisa Rawhani conducted an experiment at 
Queen’s University: she wore a hijab for eighteen days to examine people’s 
reactions to her.°° Undoubtedly, the working hypothesis was that bigotry 
and prejudice would be ubiquitous. She was taken aback by the fact that 
people were very kind and polite to her. In an extraordinary attempt to 
salvage the victimology narrative, she concluded that this manifest tolerance 
and kindness was a means by which people overcompensated for their 
concealed bigotry. If you are unkind to a Muslim woman, you are an 
Islamophobe. If you are kind to a Muslim woman, you are an Islamophobe. 
All roads lead to Islamophobia. Being kind and tolerant is a form of racism 
in the ecosystem of the university campus. 

Male Social Justice Warriors as Sneaky Fuckers 

In their infinite desire to appear empathetic, compassionate, and 
sensitive, many male SJWs are pursuing a duplicitous mating strategy that 
has been documented in the zoological literature as the sneaky fucker 
strategy. Among Homo sapiens, especially on university campuses, this is the 

guy who is the most ostentatiously kind and progressive because he thinks it 
might give him a better shot with a pretty girl. This is supported by some 
rigorous and compelling science. 

Deception manifests itself in many distinct ways in the animal kingdom. 
Let us begin with the evolution of deceptive warning signals. Unlike the 
evolution of camouflaging (to avoid predators), aposematic coloring is an 
adaptation that makes an animal very visible to prospective predators. The 
Amazon is a dangerous neighborhood where it pays to be invisible, and yet 
several frog species have evolved extraordinarily bright colors that serve the 
exact opposite function. These colors serve as the following warning to 
looming predators: “If you can see me, it’s probably because you don’t want 
to mess with me. I’m poisonous. Stay away.” In some instances, completely 
harmless species will evolve a mimicry of the aposematic coloring. This is 
known as Batesian mimicry. For example, the coral snake and king snake 
both have very similar tri-color markings (yellow, red, and black). However, 
one is very venomous (the coral snake) while the other is harmless. 
Mnemonics have been used to remember the differences in markings 
between the two species (“Red on yellow, kills a fellow. Red on black, venom 
lack.”).°! I have argued somewhat facetiously that the colored hair of many 
social justice warriors (often bright red or pink or blue) is akin to a form of 

Batesian mimicry.© It communicates ideological fierceness. 

There are many other forms of animal deception including brood 
parasitism. This is when one species deceives another into raising its kids, as 
occurs with the cuckoo bird. But perhaps not surprisingly, the arena where 
deception is most rampant is within the domain of mating. The grand 
struggle of life for all sexually reproducing species involves having to survive 
(natural selection) and to reproduce (sexual selection). In order to 
reproduce, organisms have evolved a bewildering number of morphological 
and behavioral traits as a means of gaining sexual access to prospective 
mates. Let us take human males as an example. Women hold a universal 
preference for men who exhibit cues associated with high social status, 
including intelligence, confidence, ambition, the ability to procure and 
defend resources, and social dominance. Few women throughout our 
evolutionary history were driven to sexual frenzy at the prospect of mating 
with an apathetically lazy, pear-shaped, nasal-voiced, submissive, cowardly, 
whiny man. Not surprisingly, across all known cultures and eras, men have 

sought to gain status as a means of being attractive on the mating market, 
but they've done so via a broad range of trajectories as a function of their 
unique talents and life circumstances. Some will become successful 
businessmen, diplomats, professional athletes, surgeons, professors, or 
artists. The definition of status might vary across cultures and time periods 
(a Harvard degree, for instance, matters little to the Hadza tribe in Africa), 
but what is universally clear is that status matters to women in choosing 
men. In instances when men do not possess the desired characteristics, they 
might “fake it until they make it.” Of course, women engage in countless 
forms of deceptive signaling as well. They are much more likely to lie about 
their age, weight, and sexual history, as a means of appearing more attractive 
in the mating market. Several products exist to deceive the male gaze 
including push-up bras and high heels, both of which create more youthful- 
looking shapes by lifting women’s breasts and buttocks and combating the 
downward pull of gravity. The harsh reality is that deception is one of several 
available strategies when seeking to gain an advantage in the struggle for life. 

Of all forms of deception in the mating market, perhaps none is as 
deviously ingenious as kleptogamy (the theft of mating opportunities under 
false pretense). In the 1970s, a more colloquially vivid term was introduced 
in the animal behavior literature to explain this phenomenon, the sneaky 
fucker strategy. Female mimicry is one manifestation of this behavior. This 
occurs when some males of a species either look or act like females of that 
species to avoid being attacked by dominant guarding males, and in doing so 
they can sneak mating opportunities.®’ In many instances, the phenotypes of 
the two types of males is somewhat fixed (some are large and dominant 
while others are smaller and meeker). This is precisely what makes the giant 
cuttlefish extraordinary in its implementation of the sneaky fucker strategy, 
since males are able to alter their physical characteristics on the spot to 
mimic a female’s morphological features.“ Even more incredibly, the male 
mourning cuttlefish alters its body shape and coloring to look at the same 
time like that of a female and a male. Specifically, the part of its body visible 
to a rival male mimics that of a female while the other part visible to a female 
emits male courtship cues. Talk about sophisticated duplicity! 

My familiarity with this form of mating duplicity led me to apply the 

sneaky fucker stratagem to a specific human context. I posit that many male 
social justice warriors are akin to the giant cuttlefish. They don the 

accoutrements of a sensitive and non-threatening male via their ideological 
commitment oozing with progressive empathy. In a sense, this is akin to the 
sensitive guy who befriends women and offers them endless emotional 
support with the hope that it eventually pays off romantically. Back in the 
1980s, John Hughes was responsible for many of the iconic teenage-themed 
movies of that era, including Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris 
Bueller’s Day Off, and Pretty in Pink. In the latter classic movie, Andie Walsh 
(played by Molly Ringwald), is a working-class teenager with a romantic 
interest in Blane McDonough (played by Andrew McCarthy), a rich kid 
from the proverbial better side of the tracks. Andie’s best friend, Duckie 
(played by Jon Cryer, who later gained renewed fame in the TV series Two 
and a Half Men), is the epitome of the sneaky fucker friend. Always there 
offering his endless sensitive support, hoping that he will eventually be given 
his due chance at romance. Returning to the male social justice warriors, it is 
clear that most do not look anything like Navy SEALs. In other words, they 
do not exhibit the morphological features associated with physical 
formidability and social dominance. There is growing scientific evidence 
that men’s economic and political outlooks (what they think about 
economic redistribution, military intervention, and other topics) are 
associated with their physical strength. Those who are stronger and more 
physically formidable are less likely to support egalitarianism and more 
likely to support military intervention. Irrespective of whether male social 
justice warriors truly believe their stated ideological positions or are merely 
faking it as a sneaker fucker mating strategy, it is clear that men’s 
morphological features do indeed serve as signature of their sociopolitical 

Self-Flagellating at the Altar of Progressivism 

There is another motive or two behind progressivism. Many of the 
progressive positions espoused by SJWs are a form of self-flagellation meant 
to atone for some assumed “Original Sin” (most likely being a white 
Westerner) and to highlight one’s virtuous ideological progressive purity. In 
this sense, SJW progressivism can almost be seen as an alternative religion to 

The Name of the Rose remains to this day one of my all-time favorite 
movies. It features Sean Connery and a very young Christian Slater 

surrounded by a powerful cast of medieval characters. The story takes places 
in the fourteenth century at an Italian Benedictine monastery where several 
individuals have recently died under mysterious circumstances. It is a classic 
whodunnit set against the backdrop of the religious zealotry of the Middle 
Ages under the ever-watchful eyes of the all-powerful Inquisition 
authorities. More than thirty years have elapsed since I first saw this brilliant 
film, and yet many of its iconic scenes remain etched in my memory, 
perhaps none more so than the assistant librarian Berengar of Arundel self- 
flagellating as penance for his homosexuality and for the guilt at having 
caused the suicide of Adelmo of Otranto (with whom he traded sex for 
access to a desired book). The theological tenet that one’s guilt could be 
expunged via various form of self-mortification (including self-flagellation) 
exists in numerous religious traditions. The Catholic flagellants of the 
Middle Ages engaged in public self-flagellation both to atone for their sins 
but also as a conspicuous act of extreme piety (and in some cases to ward off 
great calamities such as the Black Death). Signaling one’s religious purity 
and commitment in this way is costly and handicapping, but done in public 
it surely makes a more conspicuous case for one’s virtue than saying three 

Hail Marys in a church.°” 

Social justice warriors and various assorted progressive brethren are 
typically privileged white Westerners. In their warped sense of the world, 
this is akin to being born with original sin as postulated in Christian 
doctrine. They must atone for the sin of not having been born poor persons 
of color in the third world; thus, they might seek penance in a form of 
ideological self-flagellation. Rather than using a whip or chain to self-harm, 
they adopt a progressive mindset that is ultimately harmful to them and 
their society. Take for example the ethos of infinite tolerance. The great 
philosopher Karl Popper offered perhaps the greatest take on such a 

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance 
must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend 
unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not 
prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the 
intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with 
them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we 
should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as 

long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them 
in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be 
unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if 
necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not 
prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by 
denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen 
to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to 
answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should 
therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate 

the intolerant.©* [Italics in the original.] 

Infinite tolerance causes Western governments to exhibit reticence to 
prosecute and ultimately punish returning ISIS fighters. Rather, they seek to 
reintegrate these brutal individuals into our societies by providing them with 
job opportunities and enrolling them in “deradicalization” programs. In the 
words of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has fought Islamist intolerance: “Tolerance of 
intolerance is cowardice.” 

Beto O’Rourke was among a very large contingent of candidates running 
for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 United States presidential 
election. O'Rourke exemplifies the mindset of a male social justice warrior. 
His campaign consisted largely of a grotesque apology tour of self- 
flagellation. He apologized for being male, for being white, and for being 
privileged. He announced that some of his ancestors owned slaves, an 
admission of guilt by intergenerational association. While watching one of 
his blubbering admissions of “guilt” on the insufferable television show The 
View, my wife turned to me and remarked that she could not understand 
why anyone would vote for “Beto the Beta.” Therein lies the incongruity 
between progressive self-flagellants and the rest of us. What they consider 
introspectively virtuous and pious, we view as weak and self-loathing. No 
leader should exhibit such cowardly traits—and certainly not one who hopes 
to hold the most powerful post in the world. 

Self-loathing is an affliction that plagues many people. It is a recurring 
theme in psychotherapy where the goal is to alter an individual’s mindset 
such that they develop a healthy sense of self-worth. Innumerable self-help 
books exist to address this malady in various ways. Saturday Night Live 
satirized the plague of self-loathing via its recurring sketch Daily 
Affirmations with Stuart Smalley played by Al Franken (the Minnesota 

senator who resigned in 2018 amidst the hysteria of the #MeToo 
movement). Perhaps the best-known catchphrase from this series was “I’m 
good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” While the 
segment was comical, no clinical psychologist worth her salt would posit that 
self-loathing is a desirable state. And that lies at the heart of the 
extraordinary contradiction facing the West: while liberals know it is a virtue 
to overcome self-loathing at the individual level, they believe it is also a 
virtue to wallow in self-loathing at the group level (“I hate my white 
identity”; “I hate my Western culture”; “I hate my Christian roots”). Angela 
Merkel’s astounding open border policy granting close to a million Muslim 
immigrants entry into Germany could be seen as self-flagellation for 
Germany’s historical transgressions. Laced with typical progressive lunacy, 
what better way to make up for the Holocaust than by admitting “refugees” 
who frequently exhibit genocidal hatred of Jews?” A similar form of self- 
flagellation is taking place among American progressives when it comes to 
the current illegal immigration crisis at the U.S. border. Why are Central 
Americans coming to the United States? According to social justice warriors 
and their ilk, it’s because the United States caused their societies to collapse 
via imperialistic meddling. So, in self-flagellating recompense, we owe the 
noble undocumented immigrants free entry into the United States.”” Beto 
O’Rourke went one better than that and suggested that Central Americans 
were fleeing the ravages of climate change—and the United States is 
supposedly a key culprit. All roads lead to self-flagellation. It is the only 
progressive path to redemption. 

The reflex to collective self-flagellation is causing several candidates for 
the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination to proclaim their support for 
reparations for African Americans, prostrating themselves before such great 
moral arbiters as Al Sharpton. Senator Elizabeth Warren expanded the 
discussion of reparations to gay couples. Some entrepreneurial merchants of 
victimhood have seized on this opportunity. Cameron Whitten has 
organized a Reparations Happy Hour in (where else?) Portland, Oregon, 
where white people pay for drinks for black, brown, and indigenous people 
but don’t attend the event because their white presence might be too 
triggering.”! If paying for drinks does not redress your white guilt, you can 
enroll in the Race to Dinner program. You get to invite two women of color, 

Regina Jackson and Saira Rao, to dinner to bear witness to their pain.” If 

drinks and dinners prove insufficient in curbing your white guilt, you can 
enroll in a yoga seminar in Seattle to detoxify from your whiteness.”° My 
family escaped execution in Lebanon, and we escaped from slavery in 
ancient Egypt. How much am I owed in reparations? 

In order to espouse their endless irrational positions while maintaining a 
straight face, social justice warriors must ignore, deny, or reject reality. 
Progressivism has become an enemy of reason. 


Departures from Reason: Ostrich Parasitic 

“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.” 
—George R. R. Martin’ 
“The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” 
—Isaac Asimov? 

“The human brain can protect us from seeing and feeling what it 
believes may be too uncomfortable for us to tolerate. It can lead us 
to deny, defend, minimize, or rationalize away something that 
doesn’t fit our worldview.” 

—Bandy X. Lee? 

Science should be about the pursuit of truth, and not about the defense of 
one’s preferred political ideology or personal beliefs. Richard Lowentin and 
the late Stephen Jay Gould, two eminent Harvard scientists, were staunch 
critics of sociobiology, a precursor to evolutionary psychology, in part 
because it did not adhere to their Marxist worldviews. Their animus toward 
their Harvard colleague E. O. Wilson, a leading figure of sociobiology, 
became part of the greater culture war that raged on university campuses in 
the 1970s.* But perhaps the greatest clash between Marxism and science was 
orchestrated in the Soviet Union by the agronomist Trofim Lysenko.° He 
rejected the established mechanisms of heredity (Mendelian inheritance), 
and instead proposed his pseudoscientific theories that were perceived as 
consistent with Marxist collectivism. Under the leadership of Josef Stalin, 
this allowed him to gain great political and scientific influence, including the 
capacity to severely punish contrarian Soviet scientists who dared to critique 

his quackery. His rejection of established theories in genetics went beyond 
the murder of truth. It led to agricultural practices in the Soviet Union and 
in China that arguably led to the starvation of millions of people. 

Anti-vaccine activism is a modern-day version of Lysenkoism. In 1998, 
Andrew Wakefield published a paper in the leading medical journal The 
Lancet (the article has since been retracted) that supposedly demonstrated a 
link between the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. 
It served as a powerful catalyst for the ensuing anti-vax movement led by 
several Hollywood celebrities, perhaps most notably by the actress Jenny 
McCarthy whose son suffers from autism. Few parents want to accept that 
their child might have been born with a predisposition to autism. It is 
psychologically much more comforting to blame an environmental agent. 
This is particularly tempting in the case of autism, which is commonly 
diagnosed around the same time that children receive the MMR vaccine, 
prompting some parents to draw an illusory link between the two events, 
and even to conclude, hopefully, that if the MMR vaccine “caused” autism, 
there might be an easy fix to reverse the condition. 

The pediatrician and virologist Paul A. Offit has been at the forefront of 
combatting the anti-vaxxers, writing several books about the dangers of 
denying vaccine science and relying on celebrities and politicians for health 
recommendations.° Researchers have found that almost half of the advice 
offered on shows like The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors either had no 
scientific basis or was contrary to existing scientific evidence.’ One of my 
most popular Psychology Today articles dealt with the problem of celebrities 
talking about scientific issues.° If a large segment of the population decides 
to refrain from vaccinating their kids because Jenny McCarthy has shared 
“her truth,” we have a problem. We have personal anecdotes versus science, 
with potentially deadly consequences, as children are needlessly exposed to 
dangerous viruses. By emphasizing the scientific consensus against the anti- 
vax quackery, one can reverse this dangerous instantiation of science 


Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome 

Of course, the desire to deny reality extends far beyond science. The 
human capacity for deception (and self-deception) is enormous; in fact, 

some scientists suspect one reason our intelligence evolved as it has is so we 
can successfully manipulate others.!° In the service of such manipulative 
intent, we have evolved a parallel proclivity to self-deceive, which protects us 
from betraying our duplicity."! The first step in being a good liar is believing 
the lie. 

While these evolutionarily-based reasons for deception yield adaptive 
benefits, there is one form of self-deception that seems rather peculiar. At 
times, we deny facts that are as evident as the existence of the moon. The 

father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, noted the human capacity to 

suppress unpleasant information and referred to it as “this ostrich policy. 
This human ostrich effect—based on the comic image of an ostrich burying 
its head in the sand to avoid unwelcome realities (a behavior the ostrich 
doesn’t actually exhibit in nature)—has been documented in many contexts, 
including financial investments.'* Several years ago, when I realized that 
idea pathogens were causing more and more people to reject reality, I coined 
the term Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome (OPS). Here’s how I defined this 
dreadful attack on reason: 

This disorder causes a person to reject realities that are otherwise 
as clear as the existence of gravity. Sufferers of OPS do not believe 
their lying eyes. They construct an alternate reality known as 
Unicornia. In such a world, science, reason, rules of causality, 
evidentiary thresholds, a near-infinite amount of data, data 
analytic procedures, inferential statistics, the epistemological rules 
inherent to the scientific method, rules of logic, historical patterns, 
daily patterns, and common sense are all rejected. Instead, the 
delusional ramblings of an OPS sufferer are rooted in illusory 
correlations, non-existent causal links, and feel-good progressive 
platitudes. Ostrich Logic is always delivered via an air of haughty 

moral superiority." 

I once visited a physician because I was suffering recurring bouts of 
bronchitis. As I sat in his office, he was chain smoking. I asked him if that 
was a good idea while treating an asthmatic patient suffering from 
bronchitis. He laughed it off. I share this story to remind people that experts 
are not immune from poor judgment and faulty reasoning. Notwithstanding 
the fact that I coined OPS, I have myself succumbed to Ostrich Logic, by 

thinking that if I ignore my weight gain it will go away (instead of leaving me 
thirty pounds heavier). 

Six Degrees of Faux-Causality 

Those infected with OPS succumb to a broad range of cognitive biases as 
a means of protecting them from reality. One of them involves ascribing an 
illusory network of connectedness between variables. Many important 
phenomena in our daily lives are organized as networks, ° be it the small 
world phenomenon (human connectedness), '° the neurons in our brains 
(connected to one another via synapses), the World Wide Web, electric 
power grids, social networks (like Facebook), or biological systems.'” That 
our world consists of an endless number of interconnected elements has led 
to the so-called butterfly effect, the idea that a small perturbation in the 
starting conditions of a system could yield substantial downstream effects. a 
While it is indeed true that our world is composed of countless networks of 
interconnected parts, the problem arises when people construct networks of 
faux-causality to explain a given phenomenon. 

For example, in 2015, Bill Nye (a self-described “science guy”) found a 
way to connect an Islamist terror attack in Paris to climate change, saying: 

It’s very reasonable [to conclude] that the recent trouble in Paris is 
a result of climate change. There is a water shortage in Syria, this is 
fact based—small and medium farmers have abandoned their 
farms because there’s not enough water, not enough rainfall. And 
especially the young people who have not grown up there, have 
not had their whole lives invested in living off the land, the young 
people have gone to the big cities looking for work. There’s not 
enough work for everybody, so the disaffected youths, as we say— 
the young people who don’t believe in the system, believe the 
system has failed, don’t believe in the economy—are more easily 
engaged and more easily recruited by terrorist organizations, and 
then they end up part way around the world in Paris shooting 
people. You can make a very reasonable argument that climate 
change is not that indirectly related to terrorism. It’s related to 
terrorism. So this is just the start of things. The more we let this go 

on, the more trouble there’s going to be. You can say, “We'll stamp 
out the terrorists,” but everybody’s leaving their farms because of 

water shortages, that’s a little, bigger problem.” 

One wonders why Chile has not produced a greater number of terrorists 
given that one of the most arid places on earth is its Atacama Desert. But 
through the magic of assumed connectedness you can link anything to 
anything if you are not bound by logic and fact-based rules of causality. 

Why do individuals succumb to such shoddy thinking? In his book The 
Conduct of Inquiry, the philosopher Abraham Kaplan wrote: “In addition to 
the social pressures from the scientific community, there is also at work a 
very human trait of individual scientists. I call it the law of instrument, and it 
may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find 
that everything he encounters needs pounding. It comes as no particular 
surprise to discover that a scientist formulates problems in a way which 
requires for their solution just those techniques in which he himself is 
especially skilled.”*° [Italics in original.| The humanist psychologist 
Abraham Maslow in The Psychology of Science added: “I suppose it is 
tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it 
were a nail.”?! This is very much related to the notion of methodological 
fixation, which occurs when researchers become single-minded about the 
use of specific data collection or data analytic procedures irrespective of their 
suitability for a given research problem.” If you are a climate activist, all 
calamities are due to man-made climate change. If you are a radical feminist, 
the patriarchy along with toxic masculinity are to blame. (Perhaps not 
surprisingly climate change has been blamed on toxic masculinity.”’) If you 
are a member of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity cult, then naturally all 
ills stem from a lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity. If you are a member 
of the Democratic Party, all problems originate with Donald Trump. 

In the philosophy of science, the principle of “Ockham’s razor” means 
that all things being equal, simple explanations should be preferred to 
convoluted ones (a useful guard against the faulty epistemology of faux- 
causality). In his Philosophie Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Sir Isaac 
Newton proclaimed: “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than 
such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. To this 
purpose the philosophers say that Nature does nothing in vain, and more is 

in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects 
not the pomp of superfluous causes.” The problem with those who succumb 
to the Six Degrees of Faux-Causality trap is that they generate long 
sequences of illusory causal pathways. This can be necessary if you spout 
progressive platitudes that are manifestly untrue. 

Open Borders—Diversity Is Our Strength 

Of all the platitudinous slogans uttered by Canadian Prime Minister 
Justin Trudeau, he is undoubtedly best known for repeatedly invoking the 
mantra “Diversity Is Our Strength.” He appears to believe that any problem 
is solved by simply repeating his slogan enough times that the problem 
disappears. Increasing diversity is the solution to all challenges—be they 
economic, social, political, environmental, or related to security. Simply 
double down on the cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity of the massive 
influx of immigrants into Canada and watch as we all eventually hold hands 
in brotherly unison while singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” This is the type 
of Ostrich Logic that is destroying the future of the West. There are many 
forms of cultural enrichment, including restaurants of varied cuisines, that 
come from living in a heterogeneous and pluralistic society, but the cultural 
and religious values that some immigrants bring with them to the West 
manifestly do not add to our strength. They only sow hatred, intolerance, 
and divisiveness. My good friend Professor Salim Mansur testified 
eloquently on this in front of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and 
Immigration in the Canadian House of Commons on October 1, 2012: 

The flow of immigration into Canada from around the world, and 
in particular the flow from Muslim countries, means a pouring in 
of numbers into a liberal society of people from cultures at best 
non-liberal. But we know through our studies and observation that 
the illiberal mix of cultures poses one of the greatest dilemmas and 
an unprecedented challenge to liberal societies such as ours, when 
there is no demand placed on immigrants any longer to assimilate 
into the founding liberal values of the country to which they have 
immigrated. Instead, a misguided and thoroughly wrong-headed 
policy of multiculturalism encourages the opposite... 

We may want to continue with a level of immigration into 
Canada annually that is about the same as it is at present. We 
cannot, however, continue with such an inflow of immigrants 
under the present arrangement of the official policy of 
multiculturalism based on the premise that all cultures are equal 
when this is untrue. This policy is a severe, perhaps even a lethal, 
test for a liberal democracy such as ours... 

We should not allow bureaucratic inertia to determine not only 
the policy but the existing level of immigrant numbers and source 
origin that Canada brings in annually. We have the precedent of 
how we selectively closed immigration from the Soviet bloc 
countries during the Cold War years, and we need to consider 
doing the same in terms of immigration from Muslim countries 
for a period of time given how disruptive is the cultural baggage of 
illiberal values that is brought in as a result. 

We are, in other words, stoking the fuel of much unrest in our 
country, as we have witnessed of late in Europe. 

Lest any member wants to instruct me that my views are in any 
way politically incorrect, or worse, I would like members to note 
that I come before you as a practising Muslim who knows out of 
experience, from the inside, how volatile, how disruptive, how 
violent, how misogynistic is the culture of Islam today and has 
been during my lifetime, and how it greatly threatens our liberal 

democracy that I cherish, since I know what is its opposite.”* 

It is difficult to argue that Mansur is a bigoted white supremacist 
Islamophobe given that he is a brown man of Indian descent and a 
practicing Muslim. He is an honest man who recognizes that all cultures are 
not equally liberal. 

The idea that unrestrained diversity is a magical elixir when it comes to 
creating stable and peaceful societies is a profoundly imbecilic notion. 
Science tells us that, generally speaking, homophily (being attracted to those 
who are similar) has been documented in a very broad range of social 
contexts.”° For instance, if marital success is your ultimate objective then the 
research is very clear: choose someone who is similar to you. We also choose 

our friends partly based on genetic homophily,*° our dogs based on 

morphological homophily,” and our global trade partners based on cultural 
homophily.” It follows that when it comes to immigration, people who 
share foundational values are more likely to get along than those who don’t. 
If you are a classically liberal, modern, pluralistic, and secular society, 
opening your door to innumerable immigrants whose cultural and religious 
heritage is rooted in religious supremacy, homophobia, misogyny, 
intolerance toward religious minorities with a special hatred for Jews, 
rejection of freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience, will not yield 
good outcomes. To state this is not “bigoted”; it is recognizing a reality as 
clear as the existence of the sun. 

Reciprocal altruism is an evolved mechanism (the West grants entry to a 
manageable number of refugees fully expecting that they will reciprocate our 
generosity by adopting our secular, liberal, and modern values); suicidal 
empathy is not. We should never compromise the fabric of our modern 
societies in order to engage in a pious exercise of civilizational self- 
flagellation. I say this as a proud Canadian immigrant. Those who repeatedly 
hurl “racist” at anyone who seeks to discuss rational immigration policies 
suffer from an insidious form of Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome. 

Nothing to Do with Islam 

Since the September 11, 2001, Islamist terrorist attacks on the United 
States, Islamic terrorists have perpetrated more than 35,000 attacks across 
the globe.” The attacks have occurred in nations that vary on every 
conceivable metric, including race, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, 
economic vitality, and political system. No other religion has come even 
remotely close to Islam in inspiring, justifying, or supporting terrorism. And 
yet, the progressive intelligentsia insist that none of these documented 
attacks have anything to do with Islam. Instead, a bewildering number of 
other “causes” have been offered.” Before I delve into some of these 
supposed causes, it is worth noting that the obfuscation starts with the use of 
fantastical euphemisms and misdirection in referring to the terror attacks. 
Apparently, the terror attacks are senseless acts of random violence; they are 
unprovoked, non-ideological mass murder; they are a manifestation of 
homegrown extremism; they are instantiations of criminality or workplace 

violence; and as Barack Obama’s administration reminded us all, they are 
man-made disasters. 

The perpetrators of these “man-made disasters” are supposedly pushed to 
commit these heinous attacks because they are disenfranchised, 
marginalized, alienated, isolated, desperate, or humiliated. Furthermore, 
they lack hope, purpose, or meaningful relationships. They are social losers 
or family rejects. Many are “lone wolves.” Many are also young (who 
amongst us did not head off to Raqga in his youth to join ISIS and throw 
gays off rooftops; it’s youthful indiscretion). Other “root causes” range from 
climate change, to toxic masculinity, to violent video games, to Western 
colonialism, to the Crusades (apparently revenge is a dish best served really 
cold). In fact, to progressives, anything—except for the obvious thing, 
Islamic doctrines—can be a root cause of Islamist terrorism. The Noble 
Faith must be protected at all costs. 

How Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome Sufferers Protect Islam 

There are innumerable cognitive biases to which OPS sufferers succumb 
in their desperate attempts to reject any honest criticism of Islam. Humans 
have evolved a preference for trusting the veracity of personal anecdotes 
over “cold” aggregate data. We are a storytelling animal, and as such our 
personal experiences carry great weight in shaping our views of the world. 
Now imagine that I am a Muslim individual who was raised by parents who 
are loving, kind, and tolerant. They have never harbored a single Jew-hating 
sentiment in their lives. They are well-respected members of their mosque. It 
becomes very easy for such an individual to argue that his parents exemplify 
True Islam. This yields two forms of Ostrich Logic, namely the 
#NotAllMuslims canard (“My father/brother/uncle/friend Ahmed is Muslim, 
and he is a very kind, peaceful, tolerant, and liberal individual”) and the 
Unicorn Islam fallacy (“but True Islam is a feminist religion that loves Jews 
and gays, and it supports freedom of conscience”). Islam is a system of 
beliefs. Many Muslims pick and choose the parts that they wish to adhere to 
and reject those parts that they find objectionable. That your friend Ahmed 
eats pork and drinks whiskey says nothing about whether Islam permits 
these behaviors or not. Similarly, the imposition of your personal morality 
onto your religion does not alter its contents. That your Muslim parents 

taught you to love and respect Jews says nothing about whether Islam 
cherishes or despises Jews. 

In 2010, a Canadian Jewish friend contacted me by email to help her 
better understand Islam (and specifically whether it contained doctrines of 
hate). At the time, she had a friend who was an apparently lovely Muslim 
woman who was pursuing a Ph.D. at a leading Canadian university. As 
commonly occurs with folks infected with OPS, my friend was having a 
difficult time reconciling her personal interaction with a liberal and peaceful 
Muslim with the growing evidence of never-ending global mayhem inflicted 
in the name of Islam. Among much else, I sent her a montage of clips 
demonstrating the profound Jew-hatred found in Islamic societies, with 
children, politicians, imams, clerics, and television personalities spewing 
nearly unimaginable genocidal hate. Alas, she, along with her friend, 
responded with a tsunami of clichés—all religions have violent extremists, 
the Bible contains violent passages, most Muslims are nice people—that 
amounted to a nonsensical apologia, and she ended one of our tense email 
exchanges with: “you’re starting to sound fanatical yourself, Gad.” 
Regrettably, she is hardly the only “progressive” Jew to engage in such 
disordered thinking when it comes to Islam. 

The deflect strategy which she employed is a very common progressive 
defense of Islam. By pointing to ugly realities elsewhere, progressives hope to 
absolve Islam from criticism. The All Religions Have Extremists fallacy is 
immeasurably deceptive. It is true that a minuscule number of Christian 
individuals have used their faith as a justification for attacking abortion 
providers in the United States over the past twenty-five years.°! People with 
functioning brains, though, recognize that the scale of a phenomenon 
matters. Even though Islam does not hold a monopoly on ideologically-based 
violence, it is certainly much more conducive to violence than, say, the 
beliefs of extremist Jains (who would assiduously use a broom to ensure that 
they do not walk on ants). Boxing and bowling are both labelled as sports, 
and yet we do not presume that they have an equal likelihood of yielding 
injuries. All religions are not equal in their capacity to mete out violence and 
genocidal hate. To say otherwise is to be hopelessly misguided or profoundly 
duplicitous. Two other popular deflections are But What about the 
Crusades? and But the Bible Also Has Violent Passages. The Crusades were a 
response to hundreds of years of Islamic aggression, and they took place 

within a very restricted time and place, nearly a millennium ago. As for the 
Bible, you can count on one hand the number of individuals who have used 
violent passages from Deuteronomy to justify acts of terrorism in the 
twenty-first century. On the other hand, innumerable Jihadis around the 
world use Islamic doctrines to justify their violent actions. Scale matters. 

Another classic ploy used by apologists is the No True Scotsman fallacy. 
This argues that entire Islamic countries, Islamic governments, and leading 
Islamic scholars are “fake” representations of the true faith. If you point to 
sharia law in Saudi Arabia, the retort is that this does not represent True 
Islam. Similarly, Iran’s mullahs apparently do not represent True Islam. 
Osama bin Laden was a “fake” Muslim. Other “fake” Muslims include Amin 
al-Husseini (the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who was on friendly terms with 
Adolf Hitler), Sheikh Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim 
Brotherhood), Grand Ayatollah Khomeini (the leader of the 1979 Iranian 
revolution), Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (arguably the leading Sunni 
theologian today), and Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the late leader of ISIS). 
Remember your friend Ahmed who is gay, eats prosciutto, and drinks 
cognac? He is a real Muslim; all these others are “fake.” Denial is a very 
powerful trap. 

OPS sufferers also employ the Infinite Spiral of Delegitimization strategy 
meant to delegitimize your right to critique Islam. For most Westerners it 
takes only one question: Do you speak Arabic? But other questions might 
include: Did you grow up in the Middle East? Are you a Muslim? Do you 
understand Qur’anic philology? Are you a hafiz (someone who has 
memorized the Qur'an in its entirety)? Did you attend Al-Azhar University 
(the supposed leading institution of Sunni Islam)? Are you an imam? Or, if 
all else fails: Are you one of the faithful companions of Muhammad? No? 
Well, shut up then. You don’t have the right to criticize the Noble Faith. 
Given that Arabic is my mother tongue and that I’m from Lebanon, it takes 
longer to “delegitimize” me. Most Westerners don’t stand a chance. 

A more subtle delegitimization strategy is to deflect any critical scrutiny 
of Islam by historical cliché. For instance, “How do you explain the peaceful 
coexistence of Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Andalusia in the fifteenth 
century?” One answer—and a perfectly acceptable one—is that: “Well, that 
was Andalusia in the fifteenth century. Let’s talk about today.” But most 
historical clichés trotted out by progressives are also false, and the 

Andalusian era of alleged peaceful coexistence is a historical myth.” People 
of the Book (Jews and Christians) were at times tolerated as second if not 
third-class citizens, but they needed to know their place in the grand fabric 
of Islamic society. They held the status of a dhimmi, which required that 
they adhere to specific laws including the payment of the jizya (protection 
tax). In Muslim societies, non-Muslims are tolerated until they are not—at 
which point you better run fast. You never know when this is going to 
happen, but you know that the looming metaphorical heart attack is just 
around the corner. My family lived in Lebanon under relative safety—until 
the day that we had to run for our lives. 

In a quest to appear nuanced, many academics will posit that a given 
phenomenon (like global jihad) is due to a broad range of hyphenated and 
concatenated factors that represent a complex multifactorial problem. I call 
this the concatenation strategy. I have often satirized this form of intellectual 
duplicity whenever another terror attack takes place with the perpetrators 
yelling Allahu Akbar. I remind people (satirically) that the true motives of 
the terrorists may never be known but they are likely due to a confluence of 
paleo-botanic, sociocultural, biopolitical, neurophysiological, psycho- 
economic, hetero-historical, geo-organic, and ethno-ketogenic factors. The 
more nonsensical terms that you can strew together, the greater the illusion 
of explanatory profundity. 

The “nuanced” enemies of reason also like to use euphemisms to cover 
realities that are too politically incorrect to name. Hence, the West is not 
fighting Islamic terror, rather we are combatting Radicalized Militant 
Violent Extremist Man-Made Fanaticism (the dreaded RMVEMMEF 
ideology). Those who are a bit more honest will recognize that it is linked to 
Islam, but they will use the “ism” algorithm to sanitize the reality. Hence, it 
is not due to Islam, but Islamism. It’s not Islam but Jihadism, Wahhabism, 
or Salafism. Or they will place a qualifier to draw a distinction between Islam 
and Radical Islam or Extremist Islam. Many people have a strong aversion to 
directly blaming Islam because it feels gauche or intolerant to do so. They 
would rather give Islam a pass and place the blame on some supposedly 
“distorted” version of the faith. The reality though is that there are no 
codified holy books of Islamism that are distinct from those of Islam. 
Islamism, the political element of Islam, is an integral element of the 
religion. Fortunately, a great majority of Muslims ignore the unpalatable 

parts of their religion. This does not mean that they are practicing some 
Unicorn Gentle True Islam. If Mordechai Rubinstein chooses to eat pork 
and shrimps, he is not practicing a more liberal form of Judaism. He is 
simply ignoring those elements of Kosher laws that he finds too culinarily 
difficult to adhere to. 

When faced with the unsavory nature of many Islamic doctrines, 
progressives argue that these cannot be taken seriously because the 
interpretation of texts (hermeneutics) is a subjective exercise, and very clear 
Islamist edicts of genocidal hate have, we are told, been mistranslated, 
misinterpreted, and misunderstood (I call this the Holy 3M of Apologia*’). 
Using the political philosophy of multiculturalism, OPS sufferers refrain 
from criticizing truly abhorrent cultural and religious practices such as 
female genital mutilation, child brides, and honor killings under the guise of 
moral and cultural relativism. It is apparently wrong to apply universal 
moral principles when judging the precepts of a given society. Thus, 
Western critics are silent if not supportive of cultural and religious practices 
that otherwise should be universally condemned, as it would be “racist and 
bigoted” to question the traditions of others. Indeed, before he became 
Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau declared himself angrier that such 

practices could be declared barbaric than he was at the practices 


Radical Western feminists grant cover to such horrifying abuses of 
women under a similarly misguided notion of cultural relativism. In such a 
convoluted worldview, the burqa, the niqab, and the hijab become symbols 
of female empowerment while the bikini is construed as a symbol of 
patriarchal oppression. Using the hierarchy of victimhood, OPS sufferers 
refuse to criticize Islam because it would be “gross and racist” (to utilize Ben 
Affleck’s infamous words). Instead, they fetishize all Muslims as inherently 
noble, peaceful, and kind, a new manifestation of the myth of the Noble 
Savage (all brown people are lovely while the white man is to blame for all 

I once shared a clip on my personal Facebook page of an Iraqi 
astronomer arguing that according to Islamic scriptures the earth was 
indeed flat. I received an irate reply from a white Western “progressive” 
female scientist who chastised me for sharing such a story. In her view, we 
should be nicer to Muslims. Hence, a fellow scientist was not angered by the 

nonsense that this Iraqi gentleman was spewing. Instead, she was upset at 
my having shared his idiocy. In her quest to be politically correct, she was 
willing to kill the truth. 

In his book That’s Offensive! Stefan Collini addresses the misguided 
progressive desire to shield some groups from equal scrutiny. 

Similar arguments apply to attempts to exempt the views or tastes 
of any group from reasoned appraisal and measured judgment. 
However well intentioned, all such attempts are, in the end, 
condescending. They assume that, in relation to a given topic, 
those who are in a disadvantaged “minority” (we are all in 
minorities in relation to certain topics) need—in addition to 
efforts to remedy their disadvantage—the further protection of not 
having their most cherished convictions critically scrutinized. This 
in effect posits a two-tier society intellectually with the grown-ups 
deciding not just what may or may not be said in front of the 
children but who are to count as children in the first place. This 
eventually engenders a situation in which it is considered 
acceptable to criticize, mock or give offence to those deemed to be 
among the privileged but not to those deemed to be among the less 
privileged—a moral asymmetry which is ultimately corrosive of 

genuine respect and equality.*° 

Is Sharia Law Consistent with Western Legal Standards? 

If one had to identify the legal system most antithetical to the American 
one, sharia law fits that bill, and yet many OPS sufferers will argue 
otherwise. Many Westerners might be repulsed by sharia’s extraordinarily 
harsh corporeal punishments for theft (cutting off the hand) and adultery 
(stoning). And you might think that the lower status of women when it 
comes to the validity of their legal testimony or their bequeathing rights 
(half that of men) might be grotesque to Western sensibilities. Surely most 
Westerners would find it astoundingly cruel and unjust, if not insane, that 
under sharia law a female rape victim needs the eyewitness testimony of four 
men to be believed. 

But sharia law is even more fundamentally opposed to Western legal 
standards because Islam rejects the Western idea of impartial justice applied 
fairly regardless of an individual’s identity. Under sharia, punishments are 
applied as a function of the identity of the victim and perpetrator. A Jewish 
man who kills a Muslim man is judged very differently than a Muslim man 
who kills a Jewish man.°° Sharia law specifically states that no retaliation can 
take place when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim and that indemnities depend 
on the identities of the parties in question. 

04.9 (A: For the rulings below, one multiplies the fraction named 
by the indemnity appropriate to the death or injury’s type of 
intentionality and other relevant circumstances that determine the 
amount of a male Muslim’s indemnity (def: 04.2-6 and 04.13).) 

The indemnity for the death or injury of a woman is one-half the 
indemnity paid for a man. 

The indemnity paid for a Jew or Christian is one-third of the 
indemnity paid for a Muslim. 

The indemnity paid for a Zoroastrian is one-fifteenth of that of a 

This is what identity politics does to a legal system—and this is precisely 
the standard adhered to by progressives. Men can be sexist, but women can’t 
be. Whites can be racist, but blacks can’t be. Permissible speech is governed 
by identity and political allegiance. A straight white Christian conservative 
man should shut his mouth and cede the floor to the progressive Muslim 
indigenous trans woman of color. Know your place, white guy. Don’t speak 
out of turn. Hence, it is true that both sharia law and progressive identity 
politics adhere to the exact same principle. The repercussions of this 
fundamental attack on individual rights manifest themselves differently 
across the two ecosystems, but the mindset is nearly identical. The only 
difference is that progressives uphold the idea of equality, which sharia law 
does not. Still, progressive equality is a very special kind of equality. It was 
best captured in the immortal words of George Orwell in his novel Animal 

Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than 


Profiling Is Racist! 

I spent the summers of 1983 and 1984 in Israel where many members of 
my extended family live. On one trip, I was detained at the border and 
eventually called in for questioning because I was a young man born in 
Lebanon. I tried to explain that I was a Lebanese Jew with extensive family in 
Israel. The Israeli agent noted my family members’ names (my eldest brother 
is Moshe or Moses in English, and my name is a biblical Hebrew name), and 
asked me in Hebrew if I were Jewish, and the matter was quickly resolved. In 
1999, I returned to Israel to present a paper at a conference. During that 
visit, I took a short break in Dahab (Egyptian Sinai). When I reentered 
Israel, I was once again interrogated. The Israeli agent wanted proof that I 
was a professor and holder of a Ph.D., to which I responded that I was not in 
the habit of carrying my doctoral diploma with me, but the matter was 
quickly resolved. 

More recently and closer to home, I was detained at the American border 
for more than one hour as I tried to make my way to Clarkson University to 
deliver an invited lecture. I was travelling with my wife and young daughter 
(who was then two years old). The delay was an inconvenience, but in the 
big picture, a minor one. I bring these incidents up to ask a question: Are the 
Israelis and Americans raging racists who are targeting an innocent, olive- 
skinned Middle Eastern man? Are they vile bigots engaging in a 
discriminatory form of profiling? The answer is an unequivocal “yes” if 
you've been infected with OPS. It is a “no” for anyone with a functioning 

If a dark alley offered a shortcut on your way home, would you be more 
or less likely to take it if you noticed four young men or four elderly women 
loitering there? Using common sense, you realize that young men are more 
likely to be dangerous than elderly women, and you might go another way if 
you saw the young men. This does not make you sexist or ageist. Most young 
men are not violent, but there is a greater possibility that they could be, 
which warrants trepidation. Back in 1993, a rabid white racist uttered the 
following infamous words: “There is nothing more painful to me at this 
stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start 
thinking about robbery. Then (I) look around and see someone white and 
feel relieved.”* : Oh no wait, that was no Grand Wizard of the KKK. It was 
none other than African American activist Jesse Jackson. Does the Reverend 

Jackson suffer from internalized bigotry against his own race? Or, perhaps 
he recognizes race-based patterns of criminality based on aggregate data and 
responds accordingly. 

In my first semester as a doctoral student at Cornell University, I read 

Homicide, a book authored by two of the leading figures of evolutionary 

psychology, which had a profound effect on my eventual scientific career.”” 
In it, the authors use the evolutionary lens to analyze a broad range of 
criminal behavior including child abuse and domestic violence. Two of the 
breathtaking conclusions arising from their analyses are: 1) The best 
predictor of whether a child will be abused (by a factor of 100) is whether a 
child grows up with a stepparent (dubbed the Cinderella effect); and 2) The 
most dangerous person in a woman’s life is her male partner. Specifically, 
men are driven to violent actions when they suspect or become aware of 
infidelity. These are universal facts that transcend culture and time precisely 
because they are rooted in an evolutionary calculus that shapes dark 
elements of our shared human nature. It is not surprising then that when the 
police investigate a woman’s murder, the first person they consider as a 
suspect is the male partner. They know perfectly well that most men will 
never commit such acts, but the police also know the odds (by experience if 
nothing else) that justify their actions. Similarly, the Cinderella effect holds 
true, notwithstanding the obvious existence of loving and caring stepparents. 
Personal anecdotes do not invalidate the statistical realities. Our brains have 
evolved to detect statistical regularities in our environment. To act on this 
knowledge is not bigoted, racist, or hateful; it is at the root of human 

cognition. To discriminate, in the sense of making a distinction rooted in a 

probabilistic reality, is to be human.*” To profile is to be human.” 

Those infected with OPS reject this logic. Instead, in the desire to adhere 
to the “reality is racist” tenets of progressivism, they refuse to profile because 
to do so would be discriminatory (in the prejudicial sense of the word). They 
belong to what the political humorist Evan Sayet referred to as the Cult of 
Indiscriminateness.” This is precisely why when travelling to Southern 
California in 2011, my then-two-year-old daughter was randomly chosen for 
a more thorough security check at the Montreal airport. It is precisely why a 
posse of elderly nuns would be just as likely to be picked for an enhanced 
security check as a group of young men from Pakistan, Yemen, and Syria 
travelling together. In Unicornia, all people are just as likely to be terrorists. 

To think otherwise is to be a hateful bigot. OPS is a terrible affliction of the 
human mind. 


How to Seek Truth: Nomological Networks of 
Cumulative Evidence 

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so 
much bullshit. Everyone knows this.” 

—Harry G. Frankfurt! 

“Reason, we argue, has two main functions: that of producing 
reasons for justifying oneself, and that of producing arguments to 
convince others.” 

—Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber 

A fundamental feature of an individual’s civic duty in a free society is to be 
an informed citizen on issues of societal import. This is not an easy task to 
accomplish as most people succumb to several cognitive and emotional traps 
along the way. First, humans are cerebral misers; namely they are too 
intellectually lazy to collect the relevant information on a given issue and 
instead prefer to form opinions while expending as little mental effort as 
possible. Second, the informational landscape is laden with data of varying 
levels of veracity. Third, once an individual has committed to a position, it is 
notoriously difficult to get him to consider opposing evidence. Along with 
his two coauthors, Leon Festinger, the pioneer of the theory of cognitive 
dissonance, reminded us more than six decades ago about the difficulty of 
getting someone to change his mind: 

A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you 
disagree, and he turns away. Show him facts or figures, and he 
questions your sources. Appeal to logic, and he fails to see your 

We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong 
conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment 
in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses 
with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep 
them unscathed through the most devastating attacks. 

But man’s resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a 
belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole 
heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that 
he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that 
he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable 
evidence, that his belief is wrong: What will happen? The 
individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even 
more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, 
he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting 

other people to his view. 

More recently, Dan Sperber and Hugo Mercier developed their 
argumentative theory of reasoning, which speaks to the fact that it might be 
difficult for people to alter their opinions even when faced with contrary 
evidence. They posit that our reasoning faculties did not necessarily evolve 
to seek truth but rather to convince ourselves and others in a battle of wits. 
Given the apparent innate penchant for most people to engage in motivated 
reasoning (biased information processing to protect one’s beliefs, attitudes, 
or ideological positions), is it feasible to expect people to seek an objective 
truth? As an optimistic realist, ’'d like to think so. 

Intellectual courage—or as I prefer to call it, testicular fortitude—is a 
necessary first step for anyone who wishes to participate in the battle of 
ideas. But this is insufficient. All of the courage in the world is not going to 
sway anyone’s opinions if you do not possess mastery of the relevant 
information and the appropriate critical thinking skills to process such 
information. That is why you need to tap an extraordinarily powerful 
epistemological tool, nomological networks of cumulative evidence, to help 

you coherently synthesize information from multiple and disparate sources.* 

How to Establish Truth 

Philosophers have offered many frameworks to define truth. 
Mathematical proofs, for instance, are axiomatic truths. Empirical truths, on 
the other hand, are sought via the scientific method: in simplified form, a 
researcher proposes a question, develops a hypothesis, collects and analyzes 
the relevant data, tests the hypothesis, and draws the fitting conclusion. If a 
given scientific phenomenon is replicated a sufficient number of times, it 
becomes part of the core knowledge of the field. To take a banal example, it 
is an empirical truth that men commit more violent crimes than women 
(this pattern has been documented across time and cultures using disparate 
data sources). 

Scientific truths are always provisional because they should be always 
potentially falsifiable (open to testing). As such, one might be tempted to 
think that scientists are impartial processors of information. The reality 
though is that they are human beings capable of the same penchant for 
motivated reasoning. Back in 2008, I was invited to deliver two lectures 
about my work at the intersection of evolutionary psychology and consumer 
behavior in front of the top-ranked psychology and marketing departments 
at the University of Michigan. I confirmed with one of my hosts that there 
would be no overlap between the two audiences; so I prepared to deliver the 
same lecture to the two groups. The first lecture took place in the psychology 
department, where my ideas were very well received. The second lecture on 
the following day was undoubtedly the most hostile academic crowd that 
Ive ever faced. I was unable to finish a line of thinking without being 
badgered, interrupted, and harassed by numerous faculty members. The 
deluge of ignorant hostility began prior to my delivering the lecture, in the 
one-on-one meetings with faculty that preceded my talk. One marketing 
professor “explained” to me in his office that evolution was unfalsifiable (so 
it wasn’t real science) to which I dismissively replied: “So how long have you 
been at the University of Michigan?” In other words, I quickly gauged the 
futility of engaging the individual in question and sidestepped his buffoonish 
comment. There was a general pattern to the hostility. Many of the doctoral 
students or junior faculty were open to my ideas, while older, established 
professors seemed much more resistant. This makes perfect sense in that the 
latter are entrenched in paradigms that define their professional work. They 
wrongly construed my evolutionary research as a threat to their scholarship, 
and accordingly huffed and puffed in indignation. The doctoral students on 
the other hand did not have any paradigmatic vested interests, and as such 

were receptive to novel approaches. I have noted a similar pattern of 
resistance to my scientific work when comparing marketing practitioners to 
marketing academics. Practitioners only care that my scientific work is 
applicable and relevant, whereas academics judge my contributions by how 
well these fit into their established paradigms. 

Scientific breakthroughs are precisely those most likely to shake 
orthodoxy and be resisted, if not outright rejected, by defenders of the status 
quo.” Scientists, like everyone else, have personal biases and agendas. As 
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck noted: “A new scientific truth 
does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the 
light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation 

grows up that is familiar with it.”° 

This general sentiment was shared by the 
zoologist Frederick R. Schram who proclaimed: “Science is not a 
superhuman activity immune to the foibles of human nature. Lack of 
progress in science is never so much due to any sparcity of factual 
information as it is to the fixed mindsets of scientists themselves.” 

Eventually though, via the auto-corrective process of science, superior ideas 
do win out. The cardiologist Dean Ornish was of that opinion when he 
pronounced, “And although scientists can often be as resistant to new ideas 
as anyone, the process of science ensures that, over time, good ideas and 

theories prevail.”* agree. 

How do scientists decide that a given finding is suitably robust to be 
considered an empirical truth worthy of being added to the pantheon of core 
knowledge of a given discipline? As a first step, the finding has to be 
replicated by a sufficient number of independent researchers. This is a 
cornerstone of the scientific method, and yet the social sciences have an 
abysmal rate of replicable results.’ Another integral part of the scientific 
process is the literature review. A research project is part of a grand scientific 
story to which other researchers have previously contributed. Accordingly, if 
you wish to recount the full narrative of your scientific journey, you must 
recognize the predecessors who have provided important pieces of the larger 
puzzle. Or in the immortal words of Sir Isaac Newton, “if I have seen further, 
it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” I always remind my students 
that the key objective of a literature review is to offer a compelling narrative 
of the previous works upon which you've built. Let us suppose your project 
is on the evolutionary roots of gift-giving to romantic partners. You could 

contrast your approach with those who have utilized an economic or 
sociological framework. Alternatively, you could compare nuptial gift giving 
in the human and animal worlds. Whatever narrative you choose, the 
literature review offers a valuable snapshot of current knowledge in the field. 

At times, of course, a literature review will yield no consensus. For 
instance, in the late 1990s, I investigated the effects of dysphoria (the 
opposite of euphoria) on decision making. = I discovered that in the 
scientific literature there was no consensus on the topic. So how does one 
integrate contradictory findings with one’s own research? Meta-analysis 
addresses this conundrum. Meta-analysis is a statistical technique for 
combining comparable studies into one “mega-study.” A key element of a 
meta-analysis is deciding which studies to include while being mindful of the 
so-called “file drawer” problem where editorial bias leads to the exclusion of 
studies in the literature that yielded null results. In my dysphoria research I 
found no differences between dysphorics and non-dysphorics on fifteen out 
of sixteen dependent measures. In other words, the null effect dominated 
across a broad range of variables. When I attempted to publish a paper on 
my research, the editor rejected it on that exact basis (too many null effects). 
At times, null effects are extremely important to document within the 
scientific literature, and certainly so when conducting a meta-analysis. 

Replication studies, literature reviews, and meta-analyses are means by 
which scientists amass cumulative evidence for a given phenomenon 
typically within rigidly defined methodologies, paradigms, and disciplines. 
But beyond this, there is a way to generate and organize knowledge so that it 
becomes difficult even for one’s staunchest detractors, wallowing in 
ideological biases, to deny your conclusions. 

Nomological Networks of Cumulative Evidence 

Charles Darwin ranks among the leading thinkers of all time for offering 
an elegant mechanism (natural selection) to explain how species evolve. One 
reason his 1859 book On the Origin of Species is a masterpiece is that it 
amassed evidence from biogeography, geology, entomology, comparative 
anatomy, botany, embryology, and paleontology. A judicious district 
attorney patiently amasses a mountain of evidence prior to bringing his case 
in front of a jury. Darwin, the ever-so-careful scientist, was more assiduous 

than any legal prosecutor could ever be. He collected data for several decades 
before he felt sufficiently confident to present his case before the world. This 
approach epitomizes the gift of the human intellect. It is akin to building a 
jigsaw puzzle. No single piece is sufficient to see the full image but once all of 
the pieces are placed in their rightful positions, the final pattern emerges 

Nomological networks of cumulative evidence constitute a modern 
manifestation of Darwin’s synthetic approach. Suppose that you wish to 
demonstrate that men’s universal preference for the hourglass figure was 
shaped by evolution. How would you go about achieving such a task? The 
objective would be to build a network of cumulative evidence stemming 
from widely different sources, all of which serve to construct the final jigsaw 
puzzle (undoubtedly of a beautiful woman possessing the hourglass figure). 
Here are some compelling findings:'' 1) the hourglass figure has been 
associated with greater fertility and superior health; a 2) across a broad range 
of cultures, online female escorts advertise the hourglass figure to 
prospective patrons—whether they are lying about said measurements is 
immaterial; 3) online escorts who possess the hourglass figure command 
larger fees; 4) statues and figures spanning varied cultures across several 
millennia exhibit the desired hourglass figure; 5) Playboy centerfolds and 
Miss America winners throughout the twentieth century possess the 
preferred hourglass figure; 6) men’s preference for the hourglass figure has 
been documented across diverse cultures and races using many methods 
including brain imaging and eye tracking; and 7) men who have never had 
the gift of sight are also drawn to the hourglass figure (using touch to 
establish the preference). This constitutes an unassailable body of evidence. 
This is precisely the reason that I’m able to lecture about such evolutionary 
principles in front of otherwise hostile audiences (such as radical feminists) 
with my usual swagger. Once the enemies of truth are presented with these 
nomological networks of cumulative evidence, they typically quietly nod in 
defeated resignation. Your feelings cannot protect you from the truth. These 
networks provide key epistemological benefits in explaining scientific 
phenomena including explanatory coherence,’ theoretical integration, '* 

and consilience (unity of knowledge).'° 

Nomological Network of Cumulative Evidence for Toy 

Social constructivists have long argued that parents inculcate “arbitrarily 
sexist” gender roles in their children by the toys they give them: the general 
narrative is that boys are encouraged to play with toy soldiers and trucks 
while girls are given dolls and playhouses. This early socialization— 
aggression for boys and nurturing for girls—supposedly results in countless 
downstream sex differences later in life. If only little Suzie had been 
encouraged to engage in rough and tumble play, she could have been the 
world record holder in powerlifting (across the sexes). But her sexist parents 
held her back via the imposition of toy preferences when she was a young 
child. This imbecilic premise is not restricted to the rarified world of 
academia. It has seeped down to toy manufacturers, some of whom, in their 
efforts to appear progressive, have created advertising campaigns that are 
contrary to the standard pattern of toy preferences (such as showing a boy 
playing with a doll). If I wanted to convince you that toy preferences are 
biologically based, how would I go about building such a nomological 


One of the strategies used by evolutionary psychologists to demonstrate 
that a preference is hardwired is to document it in infants that have yet to 
reach the developmental stage that would allow them to be socialized to that 
preference. In other words, one can easily refute the social constructivist 
argument by showing that infants exhibit sex-specific toy preferences. This 
has indeed been shown in several studies and serves as sufficient evidence to 
reject the idea that it is “arbitrary sexist” standards that are the root cause of 
toy preferences. But we are only getting started with the building of the 
nomological network in question! The relative lengths of the index and ring 
fingers are known as the digit ratio. It is a sexually dimorphic trait meaning 
that human males and females exhibit a consistent difference along this trait. 
Specifically, the ring finger is longer than the index finger for males whereas 
the two fingers are closer in length to one another in females. The digit ratio 
captures the extent of androgen exposure to which an individual has been 
subjected in utero. In other words, more masculinized digit ratios are 
markers of greater exposure to testosterone. Along with some of my former 
graduate students, I have conducted several studies linking the digit ratio to 

risk-taking proclivities and courtship-related behaviors.” Of relevance to 

the current toy example, researchers have demonstrated that very young 
boys who possess more masculinized digit ratios exhibit more masculinized 
play behaviors and toy preferences. The hormonal roots of toy preferences 
and play patterns have also been shown via the collection of urine samples 
(to measure testosterone levels) from infants starting from the age of seven 
days until six months of age. Using clinical data, two separate groups of 
researchers have documented that little girls suffering from congenital 
adrenal hyperplasia—a masculinizing endocrinological malady—exhibit 
more masculinized toy preferences. So, we have proof of the incontestable 
biological roots of toy preferences using developmental, morphological, and 
pediatric endocrinological evidence stemming from normal and clinical 
populations. But we are still only getting started! 

Comparative psychology is a sub-branch of the discipline that seeks to 
understand human cognition by contrasting it with that of other species. 
Two important principles in that pursuit are homologies and analogies. A 
homologous trait between species A and B is evidence that the two species 
have a common evolutionary ancestor whereas an analogous trait highlights 
the fact that evolution can arrive at the same adaptation (such as the fact 
both birds and bats have the ability to fly) through independent means. It 
turns out that vervet monkeys, rhesus monkeys, and chimpanzees exhibit 
the same sex-specific toy preferences that humans do. This homologous toy 
preference suggests that there is a clear operative evolutionary/biological 
signature. Social constructivists might retort that this only proves that the 
evil sexist patriarchy wields its nefarious influence across several primate 
species! Never underestimate the delusional and dogmatic lunacy inherent 
in those afflicted with Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome. 

In building an airtight nomological network of cumulative evidence, one 
should try to anticipate and address all counterarguments that detractors are 
likely to levy. Recall that social constructivists posit that men and women are 
socialized into arbitrary gender roles, with toy preferences serving as an early 
manifestation of such “sexist” learning. How might one wield a death blow 
to this nonsensical premise? The answer lies with Sweden. The cross-cultural 
psychologist Geert Hofstede has ranked Sweden as the most feminine 
country with the greatest gender parity across fifty disparate nations. This 
Scandinavian oasis of progressive platitudes has been conducting what 
amounts to a longitudinal social engineering experiment for the past several 

decades wherein they have sought to create the perfect utopian gender- 
neutral society. Hence, if there ever was a perfect case study of whether a 
more gender egalitarian nation yields non-sex-specific toy preferences, 
Sweden is that country. Well, data have a pesky way of trashing the utopian 
dreams of delusional ideologues. An expansive study of Swedish children’s 
toy preferences found that children’s sex-specific toy preferences are not as 
malleable as social constructivists would like you to believe: it turns out that 

boys will be boys, and girls will be girls.'® 

Social constructivists could still raise two possible remaining concerns: 
that the relevant studies stem from Western cultures, and that they originate 
in the current era. Well, the anthropologist Jean-Pierre Rossie conducted a 
detailed analysis of dolls and doll-play among various tribes within Saharan 
and North African territories. The peoples included the Belbala, the 
Chaamba, the Chaouia, the Ghrib, the Kabyles, the Moors, the Mozabites, 
the Reguibat, the Sahrawi, the Teda, the Tuareg, the inhabitants of the 
Saoura Valley, the populations of the Moroccan countryside, and the town- 
dwellers of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Hardly, a repository of Western 
cultures. Rossie documented two key results of relevance to the current 
discussion: 1) Girls are much more likely than boys to play with dolls; 2) 
Female dolls are much more prevalent than male dolls. I uncovered a study 
that examined illustrations of children on funerary monuments in Ancient 
Greece. The same pattern emerged: boys are depicted playing with wheels, 
and girls are depicted playing with dolls. Since I first reported this 
nomological network in 2017, an exhaustive review and meta-analysis has 
revealed that the sex-specific toy preferences are indeed operative across 
ages, eras, and cultural contexts. wa It is difficult to imagine a greater tsunami 
of evidence against the premise that children’s toy preferences are due to 
social construction. Nomological networks of cumulative evidence serve as a 
crucial antidote to those afflicted with OPS. 

Nomological Network of Cumulative Evidence for Sex 
Differences in Human Mating 
Humans are a sexually dimorphic species meaning that they exhibit sex 

differences rooted in evolutionary realities. An obvious manifestation of this 
fact is the size difference between the two sexes. On average, men are taller 

and heavier than women. This statement holds true at the population level 
even though we could all think of innumerable individual exceptions. I call 
this the “But Katie Holmes is taller than Tom Cruise” cognitive bias 
exhibited by many OPS sufferers.” People presume that a singular example 
serves as a refutation. It does not. To state that humans are a sexually 
reproducing species possessing a fundamental and powerful mating drive is 
not, for instance, invalidated by the existence of celibate people (such as 
Catholic priests). 

Countless robust sex differences have been documented in the scientific 
literature across an extraordinarily broad range of human domains 
(physiological, morphological, behavioral, hormonal, and affective, to name 
a few).7! While not all sex differences are the result of evolution, those 
dealing with mating typically are. Recall that sexual selection is the 
evolutionary mechanism by which sexually reproducing species evolve sex- 
specific preferences in their mates (such as peahens’ preference for the 
peacock’s conspicuous tail). It is not surprising then that men and women 
have evolved sex-specific preferences for their ideal mates. These mating 
preferences hold across time periods and cultural settings precisely because 
they are a reflection of our shared biological heritage. Of all human sexual 
dimorphisms, the most documented one has been sex differences in the 
desired attributes sought in prospective mates. In a 1989 classic paper, the 
evolutionary psychologist David Buss examined the importance that men 
and women ascribe to several evolutionarily important attributes including 
good financial prospect, ambition and industriousness, preferred age of mate 
(in relation to self), and good looks. The sample size consisted of 10,047 
individuals from 37 highly distinct cultures spanning the entire globe, and 
that otherwise vary greatly in terms of ethnicity, race, religion, political and 
economic system, and language.” Men preferred younger mates in all 
studied cultures (thirty-seven out of thirty-seven) and cared more about 
physical attraction in thirty-four of the thirty-seven cultures. Women 
assigned greater importance to a partner’s financial prospect (thirty-six 
cultures) and ambition/industriousness (twenty-nine cultures). Statistically 
significant findings that were contrary to evolutionary expectations were 
exceptionally rare. A recent study has confirmed the greater importance that 
men and women place on physical attractiveness and good earning potential 

respectively across thirty-six countries that otherwise vary in terms of their 

gender inequality scores. 

In order to quell the concern that Buss’s data only capture Westernized 
contemporary realities, Jonathan Gottschall and his colleagues conducted a 
content analysis of mating preferences of male and female characters in 658 
folktales arising from 48 highly disparate cultural settings and in 240 classic 
works of Western literature.” A broad coverage of societies (bands, tribes, 
and preindustrial states) and time periods was included. The greater 
importance ascribed to physical attractiveness and wealth/status by men and 
women respectively were strongly confirmed across this breathtakingly 
exhaustive data set. These universal mating preferences have been confirmed 
across temporal periods and cultural settings using extraordinarily broad 
and innovative data sources, including cross-generational surveys, analyses 
of mail-order brides, speed dating events, online dating behavior, content 
analyses of personal ads, ethnographies and ethnologies of preindustrial 
societies,” cultural products (song lyrics, movie plotlines, music videos, 

romance novels),”° and the lyrics of medieval troubadours.** 

De Clérambault’s syndrome, more colloquially known as erotomania, is a 
psychiatric disorder wherein sufferers hold the delusional belief that they are 
loved by a target individual. Margaret Mary Ray’s erotomania toward former 
late-night talk show host David Letterman is perhaps one of the best-known 
manifestations of this condition. The psychiatrist Martin Briine analyzed 
246 global cases of erotomania and coded key characteristics of the targets of 
the delusion as a function of the sex of the sufferer.”® In other words, for 
women who suffer from erotomania, are the targets of their delusion 
different from those of men afflicted with this disorder? In line with 
evolutionary psychology, women erotomaniacs were more likely to be 
deluded about being loved by a high-status older male whereas male 
erotomaniacs focused their delusion on beautiful young women. In other 
words, universal mating preferences in normal populations replicate in the 
context of a psychiatric condition. 

Parental investment theory provides a grand meta-framework for 
understanding patterns of sex differences across a bewildering number of 

sexually reproducing species.”’ In most species, females are more invested as 
parents than males are, and, as a consequence, are more judicious in their 

sexual behaviors. But in species where males are more invested as parents 
than females are, typical sex differences are reversed. Such females are larger, 
more aggressive, and more sexually unrestrained.*° An example of such a 
species is the prehistoric-looking Cassowary bird, native to Australia. 
Among humans, women’s parental investment is much higher than men’s. 
Women produce on average 400 fertilizable ova from the onset of their 
menstrual cycle to menopause while men produce on average 250 million 
spermatozoa in a single ejaculation. As such, female gametes are precious 
and rare while those of men are abundant and cheap. Add the physiological 
costs of gestation and breastfeeding, the risk of childbirth mortality, and 
other sex-specific costs (women are at increased risk of predation when they 
are pregnant), and the parental investment scale tilts overwhelmingly toward 
women. Parental investment theory would predict that women would be 
much less interested in unrestricted sexuality than men—and this is 
universally true. The Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI) is a 
psychometric scale that measures this exact construct." The International 
Sexuality Description Project, founded by David P. Schmitt, examines 
human sexuality around the world. As part of that initiative, the SOI was 
administered to 14,059 participants coming from 48 countries representing 
many different cultures.** In every single country, women exhibited 
statistically lower SOI scores. It is difficult to imagine universal data that are 
more compelling. The global sex difference in SOI scores documented for 
heterosexual participants replicates for their gay counterparts. In other 
words, this sex difference is rooted in male versus female psychology 
irrespective of whether the desired target is opposite-sex or same-sex. 
Behavioral data offers converging support that women are much less 
interested in having sex with strangers (a measure of unrestricted sexuality). 
Across two studies, when approached to have sex with a stranger (on an 
American university campus), not a single woman accepted the offer 
whereas most men (up to 75 percent) did.* Several additional papers have 
since confirmed this finding in other cultural settings. 

Sexual fantasies serve as another source of data for examining sex 
differences in human mating. This constitutes a unique source of scientific 
evidence in that it offers a window to people’s most private thoughts and 
latent desires. A study that examined this issue found that men engaged in 
more daily sexual fantasies than did women; they fantasized about a greater 

number of individuals than did women; their fantasies involved greater 
sexual imagery (including genitalia) than those of women; and men were 
more likely than women to fantasize strictly about having sex with 
someone.”* In other words, the sex difference that is captured via the SOI is 
replicated using this unique data set. Incidentally, the differential desire in 
sexual variety is one of several reasons that, historically speaking, male rulers 
stemming from widely distinct cultures have been much more likely to have 
harems of wives and concubines,*° and why 85 percent of documented 

cultures have permitted polygyny (one man marrying multiple wives).*° 

Once a man achieves a high social status, he is often very quick to instantiate 
his evolved penchant for sexual variety whether he is a despotic ruler, a 
famous athlete (ask Wilt Chamberlain), or a rock star (ask Gene Simmons of 
the group Kiss or Michael James Hucknall, the lead singer of Simply Red). 
Female rulers, female athletes, and female rock stars do not seem to exhibit a 

similar desire for sexual variety. 

The differential interest across the two sexes in “no strings” sex is evident 
in countless other ways. Given men’s greater proclivity for short-term 
mating, one would expect them to have evolved a “rapid fire” physiology 
including a greater penchant to be more quickly aroused by sexual stimuli. 
Not surprisingly, men and women do indeed exhibit different physiological 
and neuronal responses to visual sexual stimuli.*” These universal realities 
manifest themselves in countless commercial settings. It is no coincidence 
that nowhere in the world does the number of strip bars targeting female 
patrons outnumber those targeting male patrons. It is also the reason that, 
around the world, romance novels are largely read by women while hard- 
core pornography is overwhelmingly viewed by men, and why sex services 
are largely purchased by men. I am unaware of a culture that has ever been 
documented where women are more likely to purchase short-term sexual 
services than are men. 

With two of my former graduate students, I investigated the question of 
how much information—ranging over twenty-five attributes—from two 
prospective suitors do men and women need before rejecting both suitors or 
choosing one.*® Women required less information to reject a pair of suitors. 
Furthermore, women searching for a short-term mate were the most likely 
to reject a pair of suitors whereas men searching for a short-term mate were 
the least likely to do so. In a second study, we found that women evaluated a 

greater number of prospective mates than did men prior to committing to a 
winning suitor. With one of my other former graduate students, I also 
looked at how framing alters the manner in which prospective mates are 
evaluated. For example, suppose that you are asked to judge how desirable a 
prospective suitor is based on one of two equivalent descriptions: 1) seven 
out of ten people who know this individual think that he/she is intelligent 
(positive frame); or 2) three out of ten people who know this individual do 
not think that he/she is intelligent (negative frame). Women succumbed 
more to the framing effect because negatively framed information looms 
larger to women when making mate choices.” These two sets of studies 
demonstrate that men and women have evolved sex-specific cognitive 
processes when searching for and evaluating prospective mates in line with 
parental investment theory. 

Although humans are a biparental species wherein both males and 
females invest heavily in their children (albeit not in equal measure), only 
men face the threat of paternity uncertainty. This sex-specific threat is at the 
root of many mating-related differences across the two sexes including the 
triggers of romantic jealousy. For example, recall that men and women do 
not respond similarly to emotional versus sexual infidelities. A 
comprehensive meta-analysis revealed that men respond more adversely to 
sexual infidelity, while women react more harshly to emotional infidelity.*° 
Men fear paternity uncertainty, while women fear abandonment of the 

What triggers men to envy other men, and women to envy other women, 
has also been studied from an evolutionary perspective." For example, men 
are more likely to envy other men’s social status, and women are more likely 
to envy other women’s physical attractiveness. We envy people whose traits 
compete with our desirability as a mate. 

Regret is another emotion that has been explored within the mating 
domain. Researchers have examined how men and women experience regret 
at having missed out on short-term mating opportunities (greater regret by 
men) as well as the regret after having had a short-term dalliance (greater 
regret by women).* In other words, men’s greater interest in sexual variety 
and unrestrained sexuality is captured via the psychology of sexual regret. 

This cumulative evidence is only the tip of the relevant data iceberg. That 
said, in building this nomological network, I have presented confirming 
evidence across cultures, time periods, dependent variables, and 
methodological approaches. Is the nomological approach strictly reserved 
for scientific phenomena? No! It is a rigorous method for marshaling the 
powers of science, logic, and reason in tackling innumerable issues of great 
societal importance. I turn to such a concrete and timely example next. 

Nomological Network of Cumulative Evidence for Islam 

Since 9/11, the West has been exposed to Islam like almost never before 
(at least since the end of the Middle Ages). A religion that had largely been 
absent in Canada and the United States has become hyper-present across 
many facets of our daily lives. Most Westerners are confused about the 
nature of Islam. Is it a merciful, tolerant, and peaceful religion or is it a 
religion of violence, intolerance, and domination? Countless Western 
politicians including George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Justin Trudeau 
have repeatedly reassured us that Islam is indeed a religion of peace. Yet 
daily realities might suggest otherwise. How should we go about answering 
such a delicate and sensitive question? Identify all relevant data sources that 
shed light on the matter and systematically build the associated nomological 
network of cumulative evidence.* Whether Islam is profoundly peaceful or 
immeasurably intolerant can be established with logic, reason, and science, 
with data drawn from historical, survey-based, and canonical sources to 
name a few. I begin with an examination of how Islam has spread globally, 
and how well religious minorities fare under Islamic rule. 

Infectious Memeplexes, Historical Data, and the Plight of 
Religious Minorities 

Are you more afraid of the measles or Ebola? The answer to this question 
is not straightforward since it requires some epidemiological knowledge. 
One measure of the dreadfulness of an infectious disease is your likelihood 
of dying if you contract it. All other things equal, a disease with a 100 
percent fatality rate is scarier than one with a 25 percent fatality rate. 
However, this does not tell the full story. The deadlier disease might have a 
low reproduction number, meaning that it is not very contagious, while a 

disease with a lesser mortality rate might be much more contagious.“* 

Epidemiological models of infectious diseases usually include several 
components when seeking to capture the contagiousness of a disease 
including the infectious period, the contact rate, and the transmission mode. 
The infection period for a cold is in the order of several days while that of 
HIV is open-ended. The contact rate captures the extent to which uninfected 
people will come in contact with those who are infected. For example, all 
other things equal, population density (dense urban centers versus sparsely 
populated rural areas) will increase the contact rate of a given infectious 
disease. Finally, the transmission mode captures the manner by which the 
disease is passed between individuals. HIV requires a more intimate 
interaction between two individuals (sexual activity or sharing a hypodermic 
needle) than say an airborne virus that can spread by being exposed to a 

The framework for understanding the epidemiology of infectious diseases 
is relevant to examining the spread of ideas, beliefs, urban legends, and other 
packets of transmissible information such as religions. Why does one 
company rumor spread like wildfire on the internet while another fizzles out 
after a few shares on social media? Why do some ideas propagate across vast 
social networks while others fail to catch on? Take for example Islam and 
Judaism. Before reading on, could you estimate the number of worldwide 
adherents that each faith counts within its ranks? I posed this exact question 
to Joe Rogan during one of our chats on his podcast. More specifically, I 
asked him whether he could guess the number of Jews in the world. I did so 
precisely because most people grossly overestimate the actual figure. He 
began with a first guess of one billion and then revised it to 500 million. The 
actual number: 14.5 million Jews in the entire world! Countless people 
overestimate this number perhaps because of the extraordinary 
achievements that have been tallied by Jews despite their minuscule 
numbers. He was so stunned by this figure that he had to get it confirmed by 
his producer while we were live on air. The number of Muslims on the other 
hand is around 1.8 billion. In other words, roughly 25 percent of humanity is 
Muslim. For every Jew, there are roughly one hundred twenty-five Muslims. 
Judaism is about 2,500 years older than Islam, and yet it has not been able to 
attract nearly as many followers. If we construe religions as memeplexes (a 
collection of interconnected memes), to borrow Richard Dawkins’s term, the 
Islamic memeplex has been extraordinarily more successful than its Jewish 

counterpart (from an epidemiological perspective, that is). Why is that? To 
answer this important question, we must look at the contents of the two 
respective memeplexes to examine why one is more “infectious” than the 

Let us explore the rules for converting into the two religions and 
apostatizing out of them. In Judaism, the religious process for conversion is 
onerous, requiring several years of commitment and an absence of ulterior 
motive. (For example, converting to Judaism because you are marrying a 
Jewish person is considered an inadmissible ulterior motive.) Not 
surprisingly, given the barriers to entry, relatively few people convert to 
Judaism. On the other hand, to convert to Islam simply requires that one 
proclaim openly one sentence, the shahada (the testimony): “There is no 
true god but Allah [God], and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of 
Allah.” It does not require a sophisticated epidemiological model to predict 
which memeplex will spread more rapidly. Let us now suppose that one 
wishes to leave the religion. While the Old Testament does mention the 
death penalty for apostasy, it has seldom been applied throughout Jewish 
history, whereas to this day apostasy from Islam does lead to the death 
penalty in several Islamic countries. 

But perhaps the most important difference is that Judaism does not 
promote or encourage proselytizing, whereas it is a central religious 
obligation in Islam. According to Islam, the world is divided into dar al-harb 
(the house of war) and dar al-Islam (the house of Islam). Peace will arrive 
when the entire world is united under the flag of Allah. Hence, it is 
imperative to Islamize the nations within dar al-harb. There is only one 
Jewish country in the world, Israel, and it has a sizeable non-Jewish 
minority. But there are fifty-seven member states of the Organization of 
Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In many OIC countries, Islam is not only the 
majority religion, it is practically the only religion. Here is a list of Islamic 
countries where Muslims currently comprise between 95 and 100 percent of 
the total population: Afghanistan, Algeria, the Comoros, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, 
Kosovo, Libya, the Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, the 
Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, 
Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Western Sahara, and Yemen. The most 
populous Arab Muslim nation, Egypt, has a small and continually dwindling 
population of Coptic Christians. In other words, the manner by which the 

two religions spread and the extent to which they tolerate plurality is well 
captured by their religious doctrines. 

Among the intelligentsia of the West, it is common to self-flagellate by 
pointing to Western colonialism and American global hegemony. The West, 
we are told, was built by war and conquest whereas Islam spread via love and 
peace. The reality is that Islamic history is replete with endless conquests. In 
the now infamous words of the Harvard political scientist Samuel P. 
Huntington, “Conflict along the fault line between Western and Islamic 
civilizations has been going on for 1,300 years.” And even more succinctly, 
“Islam has bloody borders.”*> Since its founding in the seventh century, 
Islam has subjugated, converted, or killed hundreds of millions of people. 

Contemporary FBI Data 

The FBI maintains a global list of its most wanted global terrorists.*° 
Twenty-six out of the current twenty-eight members that compose this 
infamous group are connected to Islamic groups. Though Muslims make up 
roughly 25 percent of the world’s population, they comprise 92.9 percent of 
terrorists on the FBI list. The twenty-six individuals are: Husayn 
Muhammad Al-Umari (Palestine), Ali Saed Bin Ali El-Hoorie (Saudi 
Arabia), Sajid Mir (Pakistan), Abd Al Aziz Awda (Gaza Strip), Jaber A. 
Elbaneh (Yemen), Ibrahim Salih Mohammed Al-Yacoub (Saudi Arabia), 
Mohammed Ali Hamadei (Lebanon), Raddulan Sahiron (Philippines), 
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah (Egypt), Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah 
(Gaza Strip), Hasan Izz-Al-Din (Lebanon), Abdelkarim Hussein Mohamed 
Al-Nasser (Saudi Arabia), Ali Atwa (Lebanon), Ahlam Ahmad Al-Tamimi 
(Jordan; female), Jehad Serwan Mostafa (United States), Ayman Al-Zawahiri 
(Egypt), Abdul Rahman Yasin (United States), Saif Al-Adel (Egypt), 
Muhammad Ahmed Al-Munawar (Kuwait), Muhammad Abdullah Khalil 
Hussain Ar-Rahayyal (Lebanon), Wadoud Muhammad Hafiz Al-Turki 
(Iraq), Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim (Lebanon), Liban Haji Mohamed 
(Somalia), Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Mughassil (Saudi Arabia), Ahmad 
Abousamra (France), and Adnan Gulshair El Shukrijumah (Saudi Arabia). 
These individuals come from around the world, they are of different races, 
they speak different languages, and some are born in Western countries. If 
only there was a way to connect them under a common rubric. Apparently, 

we may never know their true motives, a position that has often been 
espoused non-satirically by Western police when Islamic terrorists commit a 
brutal attack.47 

Given the demographic realities of terror attacks, it might perhaps be 
minimally surprising that no-fly and watch lists contain a great number of 
Muslims, although the actual lists are unavailable for public viewing. But, of 
course, the general response is the screeching cry of Islamophobia because 
any other reaction would be bigoted. 

Content Analysis of Canonical Texts 

Bill Warner, a former professor of physics and founder of the Center for 
the Study of Political Islam has conducted content analyses on the three 
canonical sources of Islam: the Qur’an (which represents the inerrant, 
universal, and eternal word of Allah), the hadith (the amalgamation of the 
traditions, deeds, and sayings of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam), and the 
Sira (the biography of Muhammad).*® Warner has analyzed the percentages 
of the three texts that are devoted to the Kafir (pejorative term for non- 
Muslims), to Jew-hatred, to politics, and to Jihad (holy war against non- 
believers). The conclusions are striking. For example, 51 percent of the 
trilogy of texts is devoted to uncomplimentary and unloving portrayals of 
the Kafir, and there is more Jew-hatred in the trilogy (9.3 percent) than in 
Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (7 percent). 

ISIS Membership, Converts’ Proclivity to Commit Terror 
Acts, and Terror Groups 

Discriminant analysis is a very powerful statistical technique for 
analyzing data, including electoral and consumer choices. Figure 2 below 
illustrates data that might be gathered for a politician, showing who voted 
for him (dots) and who did not (parallelograms). Simply by eyeballing the 
data, it is clear that his supporters are younger and wealthier voters. 


. = Voted for the politician 4 = Did not vote for the politician 

Figure 2. Discriminant Analysis with Zero Misclassifications 

Of course, the real-world does not typically consist of such clean data 
with clear lines of division. Figure 3 depicts a more realistic and slightly 
“messier” data set. You'll note that four parallelograms and three dots are 
“misclassified”—that is, they appear on the “wrong” side of a clear line 


« = Voted for the politician ¢ = Did not vote for the politician 

Figure 3. Discriminant Analysis with Seven Misclassifications 

Discriminant analysis iteratively tests numerous possible lines of division 
until it identifies the one that minimizes the number of misclassifications; 
and discriminant analysis is not limited to two predictor variables and two 
categories of membership. I only chose this simple example for expository 
clarity. Now suppose that one were trying to apply discriminant analysis to 
determine membership (or not) in ISIS. Individuals from eighty countries 
have joined ISIS, and they have one thing in common: they are all 
Muslims.*? It does not require a fancy multivariate statistical tool such as 
discriminant analysis to crack this particular mystery. It is difficult to 
imagine data that are any clearer, and yet Western analysts engage in endless 
bouts of suicidal Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome to protect the populace from 
this reality. 

Religious conversion is common to innumerable religions, yet it would 
appear that only one religion seems to motivate some of its converts to 
commit terrorism around the world. Why don’t recent converts to Jainism, 
orthodox Judaism, or Buddhism ever seem to “misinterpret” their peaceful 
religions and become terrorists? Somehow only one religion seems to 

produce converts who repeatedly misinterpret, mistranslate, and 
misunderstand their otherwise “peaceful” faith. 

Numerous countries maintain official lists of terror organizations, and so 
it is instructive to examine the distribution of ideologies that drive such 
terror groups. In Table 2 below, I list the sixty-eight current terror groups 

present on the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organization 
List. Eighty-one percent of the terror groups (fifty-five of them) are Islamic. 
Two other terrorist groups (the Kurdistan Workers Party and the 
Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front) are largely composed of 
Muslim individuals but their founding is not rooted in Islamic theology. The 
Canadian government maintains the Public Safety Canada’s list of terrorist 
organizations.” It lists fifty-five terror groups, of which forty-four are 
Islamic (80 percent). These Islamic groups vary along ethnic, racial, 
linguistic, economic, political, and geographical lines but are united by a 
common religious ideology. 

Several databases and websites keep track of documented terror attacks 
around the world. These include the University of Maryland’s Global 
Terrorism Database, Wikipedia, and the Religion of Peace website. The latter 
maintains a running counter of the number of Islamic terror attacks since 
September 11, 2001. As of July 19, 2019, there have been 35,339 Islamist 
terror attacks in nearly 70 countries.” : This is astronomically higher than all 
other religions combined. The National Consortium for the Study of 
Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism produced a background report of 
global terrorism (for the year 2017) including the number of victims killed 
by the twenty most active terror groups.” An astonishing 96.6 percent of the 
victims were murdered by Islamic groups (19,089 out of 19,752). 

TABLE 2: U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organization 


Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) Aum Shinrikyo (AUM) 

Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group-|Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) 

HAMAS Kahane Chai (Kach) 

Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM) Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK, aka 

Hizballah Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam 

Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) National Liberation Army (ELN) 

Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Revolutionary Armed Forces of 
Colombia (FARC) 

Popular Front for the Liberation of | Revolutionary People’s Liberation 
Palestine (PFLP) Party/Front (DHKP/C) 

PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC) Shining Path (SL) 
al-Qaida (AQ) Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) 

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Communist Party of the 
(IMU) Philippines/New People's Army 

Jaish-e- Mohammed (JEM) Continuity Irish Republican Army 

Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT) Revolutionary Struggle (RS) 
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB) 
Asbat al-Ansar (AAA) 

al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb 

Jemaah Islamiya (JI) 
Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ) 

Ansar al-Islam (AAI) 

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant 
(formerly al-Qa’ida in Iraq) 

Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) 

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh 

Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) 

al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula 

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI) 

al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB) 

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) i. | 

Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi 

Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah 
Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia 

ISIL Sinai Province (formerly Ansar 
Bayt al-Maqdis) 

al-Nusrah Front 

Mujahidin Shura Council in the 
Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) 

Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al Naqshabandi 

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s 
Branch in Libya (ISIL-Libya) 

Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent 
Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) 



ISIS-West Africa 
ISIS-Greater Sahara 

al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB) 

Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal- 
Muslimin (JNIM) 

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps 

Global Surveys, Global Patterns of Jew-Hatred, Global 

There are many global sources of data that track people’s attitudes 
towards the values of modern, enlightened, liberal societies. Take for 
example the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan and unbiased organization 
that conducts exhaustive global surveys on a broad range of issues. In 2010, a 
Pew survey captured the extent to which people from Islamic countries held 
unfavorable views of the Jews.”* Jew-hatred is the proverbial canary in the 
coal mine when it comes to measuring a society’s hateful prejudices. In 
Lebanon, 98 percent of those surveyed admitted to holding unfavorable 
views of Jews; in Jordan, the number was 97 percent; in the Palestinian 
territories, 97 percent; in Egypt, 95 percent; in Pakistan, 78 percent; in 
Indonesia, 74 percent; in Turkey, 73 percent; in Nigeria, 60 percent of 
Muslims dislike Jews, while a relatively paltry 28 percent of Christians do; 
and among Israeli Arabs, 35 percent. The Anti-Defamation League 
produced a global report of Jew-hatred using interviews with 53,100 
individuals carried out between July 2013 and February 2014 in 101 
countries and the Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza).*° Here is 
the list of the sixteen most anti-Semitic countries, in decreasing order of 
hate: West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Kuwait, 
Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Oman, 
Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. If only there was a way to uncover a unifying rubric 
for these bastions of love, peace, and tolerance. 

Examining a society’s attitudes towards gay people serves as another 
valuable indicator of tolerance. Pew conducted a global survey in 2013 
asking respondents whether homosexuality should be rejected by society.°° 
Islamic countries led the way in intolerance toward gays. Here are some of 
the relevant data: Senegal, 98 percent; Jordan, 97 percent; Egypt, 95 percent; 
Tunisia, 94 percent; the Palestinian territories, 93 percent; Indonesia, 93 
percent; Pakistan, 87 percent; Malaysia, 86 percent; Lebanon, 80 percent; 
Turkey, 78 percent. The Western LGBTQ activists who belong to or support 
Queers for Palestine might be interested to know that Israel (even counting 

its Muslim population) is more than twice as tolerant of homosexuals as is 
Palestine. Incidentally, homosexuality can merit a death sentence in ten 
countries: Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, 

Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and United Arab Emirates.”” 

How well do women fare around the world? In 2018, the World 
Economic Forum released “The Global Gender Gap Report,” wherein 
countries were ranked in terms of gender gaps in four domains: health, 
education, economics, and politics.°* Out of 149 countries, here are the 
twenty worst for women, in decreasing rank order: Turkey, Ivory Coast, 
Bahrain, Nigeria, Togo, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Jordan, Oman, 
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, 
Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen. 

In 2018, the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty, a Spanish 
libertarian think tank released its 2018 World Index of Moral Freedom 
wherein 160 countries were ranked on a composite score composed of five 
freedom measures.” Here are the rankings of the fourteen worst countries, 
in decreasing order: Libya, Oman, Algeria, Brunei, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, 
Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Saudi 
Arabia. These nations vary along ethnic, racial, linguistic, economic, and 
sociopolitical metrics, but they have one thing in common. 

The West believes in freedom of conscience when it comes to religion. 
But not every country in the world shares that view. Here are the countries 
that currently impose a death penalty for atheism: Afghanistan, Iran, 
Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, 
Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.” Moreover, the Pew 
Research Center examined which countries have the most governmental 
restrictions on religion.°! Combining the data from the 2013 and 2014 
surveys, the twenty worst countries are China, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Iran, 
Egypt, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Burma, Russia, Syria, Turkey, 
Azerbaijan, Sudan, Brunei, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Laos, and 
the Maldives. Seventy-five percent of the worst countries are Muslim- 
majority nations. 

The building of this nomological network, composed of heterogeneous 
confirmatory cumulative evidence, is not, of course, an attack on individual 
Muslims. It is the application of a dispassionate epistemological approach to 

scrutinizing an ideology and establishing whether it promotes peace, 
pluralism, and liberty. The conclusion of this analysis is veridical even 
though the great majority of Muslims are undoubtedly kind and decent 
people. In a free society, people should be able to analyze such data without 
accusations of bigotry. That is how we come to the truth. 

The application of nomological networks of cumulative evidence is 
relevant to countless other contemporary “hot button” issues. Take for 
example the ongoing debates regarding man-made climate change. The 
discussion is laden with hysterical emotional appeals as exemplified by Greta 
Thunberg, the seventeen-year-old Swedish activist who, in a disturbingly 
angry, sanctimonious, and eschatological United Nations speech, 
proclaimed that the failure of Western adults to act against climate change 
had robbed her and future generations of childhood innocence. 
Nomological networks of cumulative evidence might be deployed to 
examine the extent to which climate change is man-made, and subsequently 
to explore the types of intervention strategies that are feasible, practical, and 
rational. To request that such an analysis be carried out does not make one a 
“climate denier” or a “science denier.” 

Nomological networks of cumulative evidence inoculate us against the 
quicksand of feel-good platitudes and emotional appeals. Let your intellect— 
not misplaced emotions or tribal ideologies—inform your positions. To be a 
truly wise person requires that we recognize those domains best served by 
our intellect versus those best guided by our emotions. Stay loyal to the 
Tribe of Truth by applying the powerful epistemological tool covered in this 
chapter in forming your position. Ask yourself: What would be the 
cumulative evidence that I need to cull in support of my position? 
Nomological networks of cumulative evidence constitute a powerful means 
by which we can synthesize complex information in our quest to make 
rational decisions. 


Call to Action 

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a communist.Then they came for the trade 
unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade 

unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no 
one left to speak for me.” 

—Martin Niemoller, German theologian' 

“A time comes when silence is betrayal.” 

—As quoted by Martin Luther King Jr? 

All things being equal, whether you are talking about a military conflict or 
the battle of ideas, it is generally better to have a large army than a small one. 
The more people we have defending our core values, the more likely we are 
to triumph against the enemies of reason. And yet, countless persons who 
share our values fail to speak out. The reasons are manifold. 

Most people are too busy to notice the dangers of idea pathogens or 
wrongly assume that they are unimportant. The intrusion of anti-science, 
anti-reason, and illiberal movements occurs slowly and incrementally 
without many people becoming aware of the larger problem. Hence, the 
slow and inexorable death of the West by a thousand cuts. Instead of 
ignoring the problem, recognize that while it affects others today, it could 
reach you tomorrow. You may not have children in college, but if you work 
for a firm or are perhaps a business owner, campus lunacy will affect your 
business soon—if it does not already—perhaps starting with your human 
resources department and the enforcement of “progressive” government 
regulations that demand adherence to the cult of diversity, inclusion, and 
equity. Parts of Europe already have sharia enclaves that are no-go areas for 
infidels (and the police). You might not have them in your city yet, but your 

nation’s immigration policies (and Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome) might bring 
no-go areas sooner rather than later. 

Another reason people are reluctant to join the battle of ideas is what we 
call “diffusion of responsibility” or “the bystander effect.” In the late 1960s, 
psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latané documented what at first glance 
seems counterintuitive. The greater the number of people present, the less 
likely an individual is to help someone in need because it is easier to 
rationalize that someone else will do it. It is easy to diffuse responsibility to 
others who are willing to stick their necks out: “Thank you, Dr. Saad, for 
standing up on our behalf. I really support your efforts. You got this.” No, I 
don’t. Everybody has a voice. Activate your sense of personal responsibility. 
You have agency. Participate. Do not be a bystander as truth, reason, and 
logic call out for your help. Do not subcontract your voice to others. Do not 
self-censor. You and your children have a stake in the outcome of this battle, 
so don’t be afraid to speak up. Do not succumb to the Tragedy of the 
Commons (as popularized by the ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1968), in this 
case a tragedy of collective inaction. 

The battle of ideas knows no boundaries, so there is plenty to do. If you 
are a student and hear your professors spouting postmodern nonsense or 
spewing anti-science drivel, challenge them politely and constructively. If 
you are a graduate and your alma mater is violating its commitment to 
freedom of speech and freedom of thought, withdraw your donations—and 
let the school know why. If your Facebook friends are posting comments 
with which you disagree, engage them and offer an alternative viewpoint. Do 
not fear the possible loss of friendship. Anyone who is willing to end a 
relationship because of a reasoned difference of opinion is not worthy of 
your friendship. If you are sitting at your local pub having a conversation 
about a sensitive topic, do not refrain from speaking your mind. If your 
politicians are succumbing to suicidal political correctness, vote them out of 
office. Donald Trump won the United States presidency in 2016 because a 
silent electoral majority in the middle of America shouted from the ballot 
box: “We are tired of being patronized. We are tired of politically correct 
platitudes. We are tired of identity politics and the ethos of victimhood. We 
are tired of the extraordinarily biased mainstream media.” And by 
expressing their frustration on election day, they won. 

Believe in the Power of Your Voice 

Social media—despite Big Tech’s nefarious actions to silence or punish 
some voices—has democratized media platforms; and no matter how small 
your media platform is initially, it can grow exponentially. Mark Dawson 
self-published his way into becoming a bestselling thriller writer who now 
garners a very sizeable yearly income. Andy Weir’s The Martian, which was 
originally self-published online and then sold on Kindle for ninety-nine 
cents, was eventually adapted into a blockbuster Hollywood movie directed 
by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. : PewDiePie is a YouTube channel 
hosted by Swedish gamer Felix Kjellberg. It is one of the most popular 
channels with more than 100 million subscribers and more than 25 billion 
total views (as of May 2020). Kjellberg’s yearly income is now well over $10 
million, which is not too shabby for a university dropout. Joe Rogan, with 
whom I have developed a warm friendship, has created the most popular 
podcast in the world. He holds long-format conversations with a very 
eclectic group of guests including but not limited to scientists, 
entrepreneurs, athletes, actors, and comedians. His yearly downloads are 
well into the hundreds of millions. How did he start out? He was a college 
dropout, with a short career as a martial artist, and a longer career as a 
stand-up comedian, actor, television host, and Ultimate Fighting 
Championship commentator. His open-mindedness and willingness to 
engage a broad range of individuals (the antithesis of an echo chamber) has 
been handsomely rewarded. Rogan earned $30 million last year from his 
podcast alone.* Dave Rubin also started off as a stand-up comic but today he 
is the host of a fully independent show, The Rubin Report, where he holds 
meaningful conversations with people from across the political spectrum— 
and has more than one million subscribers and more than 260 million total 
views as of June 2020. Granted, most people who self-publish or start a 
YouTube channel will not find an audience of hundreds of thousands, but in 
the battle of ideas, every voice counts—even if your circle of influence is 
limited to your family, friends, and neighbors. 

Do Not Be Afraid of Judging Others or Giving Offence 

Many people, of course, worry about straining friendships if they broach 
sensitive topics. But true friendships are precisely those that should 

withstand the stress of such conversations. A deep friendship should be 
antifragile (to use the concept of Nassim Taleb). The English historian 
Henry Thomas Buckle famously remarked: “Men and women range 
themselves into three classes or orders of intelligence; you can tell the lowest 
class by their habit of always talking about persons; the next by the fact that 
their habit is always to converse about things; the highest, by their preference 
for the discussion of ideas.”* [Italics in original.] I would argue that a similar 
taxonomy captures the strength of a friendship: idle chatter is well suited for 
breaking the ice with strangers and engaging in banter with acquaintances; 
deep meaningful conversations about important ideas in politics and 
religion should be a central feature of any valuable friendship. If so-called 
friends are unable to accept a difference of opinion on a substantive issue, 
then they are unworthy of your friendship. Two poignant French sayings 
come to mind: 1) Mieux vaut étre seul que mal accompagné [Best to be alone 
than poorly accompanied]; and 2) Dis-moi qui sont tes amis et je te dirai qui 
tu es [Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are]. Humans 
are a social species. We thrive emotionally and cognitively when we forge 
intense bonds of friendship. In the pursuit of happiness, we should strive to 
establish friendships with individuals with whom we can experience the full 
range of cerebral engagement. This can’t happen if we are too afraid to 
disagree with our close friends on consequential issues. Choose your friends 

In a similar way, many well-intentioned individuals are too afraid to 
judge others.° The Cambridge Dictionary lists the following synonyms and 
related words for non-judgmental: open-minded, enlightened, freethinking, 
inclusive, liberal, live and let live (idiom), permissive society, and tolerant.’ 
Recall the colloquialisms that speak to this aversion to judge: Who am I to 
judge? I am not one to judge; No judgment. Where does this reticence stem 
from? The West is founded on a bedrock of Judeo-Christian traditions and 
many assume, as per Christian theology, that judging others can be a sin. 
Several gospels contain edicts against judging others.® In the Pericope 
Adulterae (John 7:53-8:11) Jesus says, “Let any one of you who is without 
sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (in reference to the imminent 
stoning of a woman who has committed adultery), and in Matthew 7:1-2 
one finds, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you 
judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be 

measured to you.” In Luke 6:37 we have, “Do not judge, and you will not be 
judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you 
will be forgiven.” Finally, James 4:12 posits, “There is only one Lawgiver and 
Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to 
judge your neighbor?” Many people interpret these teachings as implying 
that the act of judging is divinely forbidden, a cosmic command to live and 
let live. But this is incorrect; these edicts are referring to moral hypocrisy. 
People who spew falsehoods should be judged. I do it every day. 

Cultural relativism also impedes people from casting judgments, 
especially against otherwise abhorrent religious and cultural practices. 
Several generations of university students have been indoctrinated into the 
false belief that it is gauche if not bigoted to judge people of different ethnic 
or religious backgrounds, especially if you are a white Westerner. In April 
2011 the University of Notre Dame hosted a debate between William Lane 
Craig (a Christian theologian) and Sam Harris (an atheist neuroscientist) on 
the natural versus supernatural foundations of morality. During the debate, 
Harris recounted an anecdote that perfectly summarizes the moral blindness 
that cultural relativism engenders. It centered around a conversation he had 

with an appointee to President Obama’s Council on Bioethics.” 

She said, “How could you ever say that forcing women to wear 
burqas is wrong from the point of view of science?” I said, “Well, 
because I think it’s pretty clear that right and wrong relate to 
human well-being, and it’s just as clear that forcing half the 
population to live in cloth bags and beating them, or killing them 
when they try to get out, is not a way of maximizing human well- 

And she said, “Well, that’s just your opinion.” And I said, 
“Well, okay, let’s make it even easier. Let’s say we found a culture 
that was literally removing the eyeballs of every third child, ok, at 
birth. Would you then agree that we have found a culture that is 
not perfectly maximizing well-being?” 

And she said, “It would depend on why they were doing it.” So 
after my eyebrows returned from the back of my head, I said, 
“Okay, well say they were doing it for religious reasons. Let’s say 
they have a scripture which says, ‘Every third should walk in 

darkness’ or some such nonsense.” And then she said, “Well, then 
you could never say that they were wrong.” 

Harris pointed out that this same individual had deep moral reservations 
about using brain imaging as a lie-detecting technology on apprehended 
terrorists. Pause for a moment to marvel at how broken this individual’s 
moral compass is. She was callously unconcerned about the removal of 
children’s eyes, should such barbarism be done in the service of a grotesque 
religious belief, and she was not the least bit disturbed by women’s being 
forced to wear the burga because this was done in the service of Islamic 
religious belief. But don’t you dare infringe on a terrorist’s neuronal 
freedom. This immoral and confused individual had succumbed to two 
biases, namely a devastating case of cultural relativism mixed with the ethos 
of cultural self-flagellation. She was perfectly happy to hold her own culture 
to astonishingly punishing moral standards in the handling of a captured 
terrorist, but she was unable to judge the barbaric behaviors of people from 
other cultures or religions. This is the epitome of moral cowardice. 

To judge is to be human. It is perfectly natural to judge others. It is an 
integral part of being a well-functioning adult. A central feature of human 
decision making is the process of judging several competing alternatives. 
This is precisely why the Society for Judgment and Decision Making and its 
flagship journal Judgment and Decision Making exist. We judge whom to 
include within our close circle of friends. We judge various prospective 
suitors prior to marrying our eventual spouse. We judge the performance of 
our students and employees. Life is laden with endless judgments. If I were 
to ask you to think about the people whom you consider to be most 
interesting, they would likely have one thing in common: they judge; they 
opine; they take positions. Fence-sitters who equivocate about the pros and 
cons of every conceivable issue without ever pronouncing a judgment are 
profoundly boring people. To never judge is to be an intellectual coward for 
it serves as an insurance policy against the possibility of being a polarizing 
figure. The most charismatic public intellectuals are typically those who 
share their judgments on a broad range of issues. Thomas Sowell and the late 
Christopher Hitchens are two of the leading public intellectuals of the past 
four decades precisely because they never shied away from sharing their 
opinions on contentious issues. Of course, not all judgments are created 
equal. The difference between a judgmental ideologue and a judgmental 

intellectual is the process by which each arrives at his position. As long as 
one uses well-articulated arguments in support of one’s judgments, it is 
perfectly acceptable to judge. 

Do Not Virtue-Signal 

Each time that a terrorist attack takes place in some Western city, 
nauseating hordes of cowards do one of two things: 1) Change their social 
media handles to the flag of the country that was attacked; 2) Share a hashtag 
on Twitter to signal their solidarity with a given cause (#JeSuisCharlie 
following the terror killings at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris; 
#BringBackOurGirls, made famous by Michelle Obama, in support of the 
Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram). Politicians seek to outdo one 
another in offering vacuous “heartfelt” condolences while in many cases 
continuing to enact policies that are directly responsible for the terror 
attacks in question. In the great majority of instances, these are utterly 
useless endeavors meant to do nothing but advertise one’s supposed virtue 
to the world (hence the term virtue-signaling). It is a form of cheap and 
costless self-aggrandizing that feeds one’s ego. I must be a good person who 
truly cares, as evidenced by my progressive hashtag. Nothing could be 
further from the truth. Those who engage in such platitudinous signaling are 
cowardly and meek. Pll use some fundamental principles from evolutionary 
biology to explain why this is so. 

Recall that the struggle for life involves two fundamental challenges: 
survival and reproduction. In a sexually reproducing species, individual 
organisms must ensure that they will survive until reproductive age, at which 
time they must possess desirable attributes to attract a suitable mate. 
Adaptations evolve either because they bestow a survival advantage to an 
organism or because they yield a reproductive advantage. When it comes to 
survival, the two fundamental challenges can be boiled down to: get food 
and avoid becoming someone else’s food. The beaks of Darwin’s finches 
evolved to be of different forms as a result of selection pressures in various 
local niches (due to the specific availability of foods in those environments). 
A thinner beak might result in a survival advantage on one of the Galapagos 
islands whereas a thicker one would be ideal on another island. A 
morphological trait (type of beak) evolved as a means of procuring food 
sources. Unless an organism is the apex predator within a given ecosystem, it 

is under constant threat of predation. The evolution of camouflaging serves 
as an example of how an organism avoids becoming a predator’s next meal. 
Leaf insects have evolved exoskeletons that allow them to blend seamlessly 
into their environments with both coloring and textural camouflage. Recall 
though that survival is only half the battle. An organism must reproduce in 
order to ensure its reproductive fitness. There are two types of adaptations 
that bestow a mating benefit, those that evolve for intersexual wooing (the 
peacock’s tail; the “moonwalk” dance of the red-capped manakin) or for 
intrasexual competition (moose antlers; the cranial structure of rams for 
butting heads). In other words, behavioral or morphological features evolve 
to either impress members of the opposite sex or to directly compete with 
members of one’s sex for mating rights. 

The astute reader might ask at this point, what does all of this have to do 
with virtue-signaling? For this, we turn to the peacock’s tail. This 
morphological feature evolved via female mate choice despite the fact that it 
disadvantages the survivability of the peacock (by increasing the likelihood 
of its predation). Why would peahens find a very large tail comprised of 
beautifully patterned plumage with dazzling colors so alluring? Choosing the 
right mate is a profoundly important decision to the genetic interests of any 
organism. With such high stakes at play, it is necessary that an organism find 
a way to differentiate prospective suitors into one of two broad categories: 
unworthy fakers and worthy candidates. Evolution has solved this 
conundrum in an extraordinarily elegant and efficient manner. Trustworthy 
signals must be costly in order to serve as honest depictions of an organism’s 
quality. In other words, they must be handicapping in a way that they 
exclude the pretenders and fakers from being able to pull off the same 
signal.’ The peacock is effectively communicating the following: “The 
beauty of my plumage tells you that I’m free of parasites. My elaborate tail 
makes me more prone to predation, and yet here I am. I must be the real 
deal. The fakers can’t pull this off. Pick me.” 

I have used this principle in explaining many human phenomena 
including conspicuous consumption (purchasing a Ferrari), philanthropy 
(non-anonymous donations to signal one’s status), art collecting (spending 
outlandish prices on infantile art that a monkey could have created), and 
rappers shown throwing away huge wads of money in music videos (only 
those sufficiently wealthy could be so cavalier in their pecuniary waste). 

Costly signaling is also relevant in explaining rites of passage across various 
cultures meant to serve as an honest signal of one’s courage, bravery, and 
toughness. The Sateré-Mawé, an indigenous Amazonian tribe, have a very 
powerful way of differentiating prospective warriors from their fake 
counterparts. They sedate bullet ants, whose sting is akin to being shot, and 
then weave them into leaf gloves. Initiates wear the gloves for several 
minutes and must withstand the stings of hundreds of these ants as they 
come out of their sedated torpor. One sting causes unimaginable pain, and 
yet the inductees must withstand the suffering with restrained dignity (they 
cannot holler). One such ordeal would be sufficient to test anyone’s 
toughness, and yet the young men must endure this tribulation twenty 
separate times. If all it took to become a warrior was the completion of ten 
push-ups, nearly everyone could complete the task. It would leave the tribe 
in the unenviable position of not knowing who the truly tough individuals 
were. However, create a rite of passage that serves as an honest signal of 

toughness and courage, and you've solved the problem of identifying the 


During a highly publicized 2017 event held in Toronto, Oren Amitay, 
Jordan Peterson, and I were asked to identify our respective freedom of 
speech heroes. I responded that the ultimate heroes are those who risk their 
lives to defend such freedoms. I pointed to individuals from the Middle East 
(some of whom have been guests on my show) who are willing to defend 
these ideals knowing full well that they may pay the ultimate price. This is 
what having skin in the game looks like. This is costly virtue, not virtue- 
signaling. Over the past year or so, I have become good friends with Ensaf 
Haidar, the wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, and I had the pleasure 
of meeting her three lovely children at a dinner organized by the actor Mark 
Pellegrino and his wife. Raif is serving a ten-year prison sentence and was 
scheduled to receive one thousand lashes (“only” fifty of which have thus far 
been administered) for having the temerity to question, in a rather tepid 
manner, various religious and cultural realities in the region. Retweeting 
#JeSuisCharlie is impotent virtue-signaling; critiquing the Saudi regime from 
within Saudi Arabia is courage in action. 

Many people living in the West tell me they want to defend our liberties 
but cannot do so publicly because they could suffer professional or social 
consequences. Therein lies the problem. Did the young Allied soldiers 

landing on the shores of Normandy in World War II ask for (or expect) a 
guarantee of their safety before charging German machine guns and 
mortars? We recently commemorated the centenary of the end of World 
War I where nearly 67,000 Canadians lost their lives.” Their selfless heroism 
granted me the freedom to type what you are currently reading. Millions of 
individuals have sacrificed their lives so that your children and mine could 
live in free societies. And yet, most people today are unwilling to speak their 
minds lest they be unfriended by an acquaintance on Facebook. Cowardice 
should be added to the list of seven deadly sins. There is no way to 
participate in the grand battle of ideas for the soul of the West without facing 
any threats. 

Most people recognize the gargantuan courage that is required to speak 
my mind in the manner that I do (especially so as an academic and public 
figure). There isn’t a sacred belief that ’m unwilling to critique, and yet 
whenever | implore people to get engaged, I am at times flippantly told: “But 
professor, you are protected by tenure.” Tenure is not an all-encompassing 
magical shield that repels all the threats and harmful consequences that can 
come from being an outspoken defender of reason. Tenure did not protect 
me from having to take security measures in Fall 2017 whenever I went to 
teach classes at my university. Tenure did not protect me from the 
innumerable death threats that I’ve received, which led to my having to file a 
report with the Montreal police while accompanied by a human resources 
representative from my university. Tenure did not protect me from the 
numerous professorships that I would have received from other institutions 
were it not for my public engagement (including a very lucrative 
professorship at my dream location). Tenure did not protect me from being 
ostracized from many of the academic circles that serve as gatekeepers for 
the advancement of my career. My purity of spirit (as I recall my mother’s 
words) does not permit me to place any careerist considerations ahead of my 
defense of truth. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I had 
sacrificed a millimeter of truth or an ounce of freedom for selfish reasons. 
My best advice is if you are going to fight these idea pathogens, go all in. 
Make your engagement count. 

In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that a successful and happy 
life requires that one find moderation in the pursuit of a given virtue (think 
of the adage “All good things in moderation”). Aristotle proposed that 

courage (a virtue) lies between excessive fearlessness and cowardice (the two 
extremes that ought to be avoided). Aristotle discusses the courage of a 
soldier in physical battle, but in the current context it applies to intellectual 
courage as needed for the battle of ideas. An individual who decides to wear 
a “Draw Mohammad?” t-shirt in Yemen (to protest Islamic blasphemy laws) 
is undoubtedly exhibiting excessive fearlessness. On the other hand, the 
media’s reluctance to challenge an imam’s statement that “Islam is peace” is 
a manifestation of cowardice. Between these two endpoints lies the sweet 
spot of tempered and reasoned engagement. 

Be the Penalty Kicker 

Soccer, better known as football to the rest of the world outside North 
America, is a low-scoring sport. Of all possible game situations, the penalty 
kick yields the highest probability of scoring a goal. A penalty kick is 
awarded when a foul (like tripping an opposing player) is committed inside 
the eighteen-yard box. The ball is placed in the center of the field, twelve 
yards away from the net, and a designated penalty kicker takes a shot solely 
against the goalkeeper. The success rate is around 70 percent, so the pressure 
is largely on the kicker.'* In addition to penalty kicks awarded during a 
game, penalty shoot-outs are used to break ties in tournament games. It 
takes testicular fortitude to make a kick under such crushing pressure, but it 
is a fortitude that we all have to cultivate because now we are all playing in 
the World Cup of Ideas. All of us need to step up and take metaphorical 
penalty kicks when we have a chance to score a goal for Team Reason. There 
are two types of people: those who see a woman being accosted in an alley 
and intervene, and those who furtively walk by pretending that they never 
heard her screams for help. Be the former and not the latter. 

Activate Your Inner Honey Badger 

Honey badgers are fearlessly ferocious when attacked. A single honey 
badger (the size of a small dog) is so extraordinarily aggressive that it can 
fend off a group of lions. If you attack it, prepare to fight. Given the ubiquity 
of e-mob bullying (which is really a form of thought policing), let the honey 
badger serve as your source of inspiration. Never back down from those 
seeking to intimidate you into silence. Shortly after Serena Williams’s loss to 

Naomi Osaka at the 2018 final of the U.S. Open tennis championships, I 
commented on social media about Williams’s execrable behavior during the 
match. She was penalized for receiving illegal coaching, for smashing her 
racket in anger, and for verbally abusing the umpire (calling him a “thief” 
and later effectively accusing him of sexism). As you might expect, in today’s 
zeitgeist, it is seldom a good idea to criticize a black woman because you set 
yourself up for false charges of sexism and racism. I was hardly surprised 
when I began receiving many angry responses to my criticisms of Williams. 
But one diabolically unhinged woman decided I had committed an 
unforgivable sin and wanted to terminate my academic career. She tagged 
my university on Twitter, hoping it would respond by firing me. Refusing to 
bow to such cretinous pressure, I went on the offensive. I highlighted what 
this woman was doing, and many supporters of mine weighed in against this 
would-be social justice warrior, who realized she was unable to defend her 
position. She deleted some of her own tweets, eventually shut down her 
Twitter account, and then tagged me from a new Twitter account 
demanding that I remove her earlier tweets and my responses. I refused, she 
ludicrously threatened to sue me for “defamation,” and she eventually 
disappeared into her black hole of faux-outrage. 

There are two important lessons to take away from this story. First, never 
ever cede an inch to those who wish to silence you. Today it’s an inch, 
tomorrow it will be a yard. Second, learn the strategies that these enemies of 
freedom utilize to bully others, and try to turn these against them. In my 
case, I hold a winning hand in Victimology Poker. I am a Lebanese Jew and 
hence a “person of color” (to use the obnoxious parlance of the social justice 
warriors). I am a war refugee who escaped religious persecution, and I am a 
“person of size” (I am overweight). It is difficult to beat me in the 
Oppression Olympics, and accordingly I utilize my royal flush of victimhood 
against those who typically seek to accuse me of faux-racism, faux-sexism, 
and faux-bigotry. In my tormentor’s case, she was a white American woman, 
and so I accused her of coming after me perhaps because she harbored 
hatred against my identity via her “privileged position of Whiteness.”'* This 
is the proverbial kryptonite against these charlatans of faux-justice, and so 
unsurprisingly she went away. I have been targeted for occupational 
harassment on a few other occasions perhaps most notably in Fall 2017. As a 
general rule, I try to reduce my interactions with detractors to a minimum 
on social media because it seldom yields satisfactory outcomes. However, 

once in a while, I get suckered into a spicy exchange. An obnoxious and 
insulting individual had denigrated me on Twitter in a truly bewildering way 
at which point I joined the thread and went after him full throttle. This 
included my referring to him as a “retarded schmuck” and a “degenerate” 
but always within the strict confines of semi-friendly banter. It would seem 
that he did not possess the emotional fortitude to handle such retorts. He 
first tried to muster a charge of bigotry against me because, using his 
lobotomized logic, my use of the word “degenerate” was somehow code 
language for homophobia (I had no inkling of the biological sex of the 
individual in question let alone his/her sexual orientation).'° When this 
tactic did not stick, he began to repeatedly tag my university seeking to get 
me in trouble with my employer.'° When this did not work, he contacted my 
university and filed a complaint against me. I know this because I received 
an ominous email from a representative from my university's human 
resources department asking to speak to me urgently (without telling me 
what the issue was about). We agreed to have a phone chat that evening to 
discuss the matter. When she confirmed to me that the complaint stemmed 
from the Twitter person in question, I went on the offensive. I reminded her 
that I was communicating via my personal Twitter account to a person who 
was not in any way associated with my professorial duties at my institution. I 
offered her a hypothetical example to ponder: If she were with her daughter 
at a pharmacy, and I saw her there and thought she spoke to her daughter 
offensively, would it be acceptable for me to call the university and report 
her? The conversation ended shortly thereafter, and the case was closed. 

When dealing with miscreants, appeasement is seldom a winning 
strategy. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasing 
Adolf Hitler was a notorious failure, and many governments today refuse to 
negotiate with terrorists because they know it only brings more demands for 
appeasement. Israel does not appease its enemies because it knows that in 
the Near East, might is right. In the West, however, blubbering apologies 
when none are needed has become de rigueur. On October 7, 2018, 
astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted: “One of the greatest leaders of modern times, 
Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘in victory, magnanimity.’ I guess those days are 
over.”!” The usual online mob of faux-outrage jumped into action saying 
that Kelly had cited a genocidal racist (apparently, Churchill is just as bad as 
Hitler). Kelly issued a Twitter apology the following day: “Did not mean to 

offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies. I will go and educate myself 
further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support. My point was 
we need to come together as one nation. We are all Americans. That should 
transcend partisan politics.”!* I tweeted several replies to Kelly’s cowardly 
caving including this: “Stop apologizing. Stop compromising your positions 
for fear that you might offend the perpetually offended. Grow a pair. Stand 
tall. Be confident in your personhood. Know which side of the track truth is 
to be found. Stop the cowardice. Stop it @StationCDRKelly.””” If quoting a 
key historical figure who helped defeat the Nazis necessitates an apology, the 
abyss of infinite darkness looms. If you support the foundational principles 
of Western civilization, if you stand for freedom of speech and thought (as 
Churchill did), then don’t retreat. Let your animal spirit be that of the honey 
badger; be ferociously uncompromising in defending your integrity and in 
protecting truth. Follow the lead of Gibson’s Bakery whose owners sued 
Oberlin College (a hotbed of leftist lunacy) for its role in promulgating the 
false narrative that the bakery was guilty of racism.”” Three black students 
had been caught shoplifting and when they were confronted by an employee 
(the owner’s son), they assaulted him. The students admitted their guilt and 
confirmed that no racism had taken place, and yet Oberlin was instrumental 
in stirring the faux-outrage. The bakery was awarded a $44 million 
judgment,”! (though this has since been reduced).”” The bakery did not cave 
to the protests, boycotts, and false accusations. It did not issue an abject 
apology saying the owners had learned a valuable lesson from “people of 
color.” No, they fought this grotesque injustice and won. Be a honey badger. 
Never back down when attacked by ideological bullies. 

To criticize Islam does not make you an Islamophobe (a nonsensical 
term) nor a hater of individual Muslims. To scrutinize radical feminism does 
not make you a misogynist. To question open borders does not make you a 
racist. You can have an open heart filled with empathy and compassion and 
yet reject open borders. To assert that trans women (biological males) 
should not be competing in athletic competitions with biological females 
does not make you a transphobe. Many situations in life involve a calculus of 
competing rights. With that in mind, the right of your eight-year-old 
daughter to feel comfortable and safe in a public bathroom supersedes that 
of a 230-pound, six foot two trans woman. To reject the idea that so-called 
“other forms of knowing” (whether the indigenous way of knowing or 

postmodernism) are as valid as the scientific method does not make you a 
close-minded bigot. To reject the hysterical demonization of white men as 
exemplars of toxic masculinity and white supremacy does not make you 
Adolf Hitler. The name-calling accusations are locked and loaded threats, 
ready to be deployed against you should you dare to question the relevant 
progressive tenets. Most people are too afraid to be accused of being racist or 
misogynist, and so they cower in silence. Keep your mouth shut and nod in 
agreement or else prepare to be tarred and feathered. Don’t fall prey to this 
silencing strategy. Be assured in your principles and stand ready to defend 
them with the ferocity of a honey badger. 

How to Fix Our Universities 

While civil and aeronautical engineers are constrained by physical laws 
when designing bridges and planes, the humanities professors spreading 
anti-science, anti-logic idea pathogens are impervious to downstream ill 
effects. These professors have created a university culture where insanity is 
rewarded. This must stop. And the first step might be to fight back against 
unconstitutional speech codes and delimited free speech zones. Under the 
Constitution, the entire United States is a free speech zone. Say no to the 
thought police, expose your mind to a heterogeneity of thoughts and 
perspectives, and engage with people who might question your positions. 
Ideological intolerance is not restricted to conservatives or liberals.” Every 
one of us prefers talking with people who share our opinions. That is an 
indelible part of human nature. But our minds are elevated when we discuss 
opposing points of view respectfully. This should be a major focus of our 

Similarly, our universities should recommit themselves to the pursuit of 
academic excellence and kick identity politics (and its cult of “diversity, 
inclusion, and equity”) into the dustbin of history. No one should have to 
apologize for being white, male, Christian, or heterosexual—or feel “pride” 
in their sexual orientation. Immutable characteristics should not be the 
subject of either pride or shame, and we should neither inculcate or placate 
an ethos of perpetual victimhood and indignant offence. We should stop 
coddling students and provide no allowances for trigger warnings or safe 
spaces, no indulgence for the foolishness of “cultural appropriation” or 
“microaggressions.” These are nonsensical concepts that embolden weakness 

and fragility. Instead, foster an environment that promotes intellectual and 
emotional strength. In the words of John Ellison, dean of students in the 
College at the University of Chicago, in his welcoming letter to the class of 

Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, 
challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and 
mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression 
does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will 
find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in 
rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this 
may challenge you and even cause discomfort. 

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not 
support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited 
speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do 
not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where 
individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with 
their own. 

Fostering the free exchange of ideas reinforces a related 
University priority—building a campus that welcomes people of 
all backgrounds. Diversity of opinion and background is a 
fundamental strength of our community. The members of our 

community must have the freedom to espouse and explore a wide 

range of ideas. 

It is tragic that such a position has to be enunciated to incoming students 
at a world-class university in the twenty-first century. And yet, Dean Ellison 
is a breath of fresh air in an ecosystem of fevered idea pathogens. They are 
the same sort idea pathogens that encourage students to occupy 
administrators’ offices with lists of outlandish “social justice” demands—and 
that all too often lead administrators to capitulate to them. I encourage 
readers to flip through The Plan for Dartmouth’s Freedom Budget: Items for 

Transformative Justice at Dartmouth to better understand what such 

demands entail—but you can probably guess. 

Universities need to return to the meritocratic ethos they once had and to 
resist commodifying education and lowering academic standards. In 1990, 

when I earned my M.B.A. at McGill University, I had to complete two years 
of full-time studies, that is, four semesters of courses ranging from five to six 
graduate courses per semester, an extraordinarily heavy load (I was 
exempted from one additional course by passing an entrance mathematics 
exam). Since then, the number of credits required to obtain an M.B.A. 
degree continues to decrease, with many business schools now offering an 
accelerated one-year M.B.A. At the business school where I teach, the 
number of credits now required for completing an M.B.A. is substantially 
lower than it was when I graduated back in 1990. More than a decade ago, I 
critiqued this outlandish lowering of standards in a Psychology Today article 
titled “Ill Have Large Fries, a Hamburger, a Diet Coke, and an M.B.A. Hold 
the Pickles: The Student-as-Customer Metaphor is Poor Educational 
Policy.””° M.B.A. requirements are being watered down not because 
students are much smarter and better prepared than they were thirty years 
ago, but because of competitive pressures for schools to find new ways to 
attract students. 

This same desire to attract and retain students manifests itself in grade 
inflation. Stuart Rojstaczer, a former professor of geology/Earth and ocean 
sciences at Duke University, has conducted extensive longitudinal analyses 
on the pattern of grade inflation at American universities. He reports some 
truly bewildering grade facts including that the most common grade during 
the Vietnam era was C; now it is an Ae Yes, you read that correctly. 
Everyone is a winner. Everyone comes in first place. Everyone gets a trophy. 
Incredibly, some leading business schools, law schools, and medical schools 
have done away with standard letter grading and instead focus on versions 
of the “pass-fail” system. At my alma mater Cornell University, students 
have enacted a grade non-disclosure policy; recruiters are not supposed to 
ask Cornell students about their grades, and Cornell students are not 
supposed to reveal their grades until after they've received a full-time job 


Humans are both cooperative and competitive, and any group—from a 
clique of awkward teenagers to a professional soccer team to a military 
organization—will establish clear hierarchies. Humans are not 
indistinguishable and equal worker ants. E. O. Wilson, the Harvard 
entomologist and evolutionary biologist, is reputed to have said of socialism: 
“Great idea. Wrong species.” Any system that is built on a false 

understanding of human nature is doomed to fail. Building a society where 
the primary objective is to protect one’s fragile self-esteem from the dangers 
of competition will only lead to a society of weakness, entitlement, and 
apathy. Life is necessarily competitive; society is necessarily hierarchical. It 
does no one any favors to pursue a utopian vision of society where no one’s 
feelings are hurt. 

Parting Words 

For decades now, a set of idea pathogens, largely stemming from 
universities, has relentlessly assaulted science, reason, logic, freedom of 
thought, freedom of speech, individual liberty, and individual dignity. If we 
want our children and grandchildren to grow up in free societies as we have 
done, then we have to be assured in our principles and stand ready to defend 

Having grown up amidst the brutality of the Lebanese Civil War and 
witnessed the erosion of common sense in our universities, I implore you to 
get engaged. You have the power to effect necessary change. The cure is 
before you: it is the pursuit and the defense of truth; it is the recommitment 
to the virtues of the Western Scientific Revolution and Age of 
Enlightenment. March on, soldiers of reason. Together we can win the battle 
of ideas. 


I am thankful to all of the institutions and conference venues that invited me 
to deliver lectures as I was developing the contents reported in this book. 
These include the Freedom Project (Wellesley College), the Institute for 
Liberal Studies (the University of Ottawa), the Global Forum on Countering 
Violent Extremism (the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights 
Studies at Concordia University), Logical LA, the Manning Conference, the 
Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, Parliament Hill (Canadian 
government), the M103 Conference: Learning Circle on Free Speech, the 
University of Regina, the event on the Stifling of Free Speech on University 
Campuses (Toronto), Civitas, and the Society for Academic Freedom and 
Scholarship. The favorable responses that I kept receiving from audience 
members gave me a clear indication that the public was desirous to hear my 
message. This wave of encouragement was amplified by the millions of 
people who engaged me on my social media platforms, who viewed my 
numerous media appearances, and who watched my YouTube channel. 

Many thanks to Harry Crocker, Tom Spence, and the rest of the team at 
Regnery Publishing for being such enthusiastic supporters of this book. 
Additional thanks to Harry for his careful reading of my manuscript 
including his valuable recommendation that I shorten the length of the 
book. Thank you to Laura Swain for her copyediting efforts. The challenge 
of writing such a book is rendered immeasurably easier when an author has 
the full backing of his publisher. 

My wife and children provide me with the solace that permits me to fight 
in the arena of ideas. Without their love and support, I would not have the 
peace of mind to fight mind pathogens. 

To all those who throughout history have fought for science, reason, 
individual liberty, and individual dignity, the world owes you. 

About the Author 

Author photo by Sergio Veranes / 

GAD SAAD, Ph.D., one of the best-known public intellectuals fighting 
the tyranny of political correctness, is a professor of marketing at the John 
Molson School of Business at Concordia University, where he held the 
Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian 
Consumption from 2008 to 2018. A pioneer in the application of 
evolutionary psychology to consumer behavior, he is the author of The 
Evolutionary Bases of Consumption, The Consuming Instinct, and numerous 
scientific papers and the editor of the book Evolutionary Psychology in the 
Business Sciences. A blogger for Psychology Today, he has been profiled in 
the Wall Street Journal and interviewed by Dave Rubin, Glenn Beck, and Joe 


A Division of Salem Media Group 





1. Follow the thread for the remaining tweets. Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “Some people are 

™ truly irredeemably clueless. They post comments attacking me for criticizing the SJW 
mindset instead of supposedly tackling ‘important’ matters. Yes, because having a set of 
idea pathogens take complete control over the minds and souls of millions of people 
in,” Twitter, April 6, 2019, 12:15 p-m., 

2.R. A. Fisher, The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930). 

Chapter One From Civil War to the Battle of Ideas 





PorNI nin 

Lucy Pasha-Robinson, “Teaching Maths Perpetuates White Privilege, Says University 
Professor,” The Independent, October 25, 2017, 
illinois-university-professor-rochelle-gutierrez-a8018521.html. : 
Michael Marmot, The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and 
Longevity (New York: Henry Holt, 2004). 

. Joanna Kempner, Jon F. Merz, and Charles L. Bosk, “Forbidden Knowledge: Public 

Controversy and the Production of Nonknowledge,” Sociological Forum 26, no. 3 
(September 2011): 475-99. 

Stephen J. Gould, “The Self-Manipulation of My Pervasive, Perceived Vital Energy 
through Product Use: An Introspective-Praxis Perspective,” Journal of Consumer 
Research 18 (September 1991): 104. 

Ibid., 202. 
Ibid., 203. 
George Orwell, “Notes on Nationalism,” Polemic 1 (May 1945): 1. 

For a discussion of parasitoid wasps, see Frederic Libersat, “Parasitoid Wasps: 

Neuroethology,” in Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, eds. Michael D. Breed and Janice 
Moore, 2 (Oxford: Academic Press, 2010), 642-50. 
For an academic treatise on the subject, see Janice Moore, Parasites and the Behavior of 
Animals (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). For a less technical discussion, see 
Kathleen McAuliffe, This is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate 
Our Behavior and Shape Society (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). 

. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976); See also 

Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). 

. These include Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (New York: 
* Knopf, 1963); Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: Simon & 

Schuster, 1987); Jonathan Rauch, Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought 
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); Greg Lukianoff, Unlearning Liberty: 
Campus Censorship and the End of the American Debate (New York: Encounter Books, 
2012); Heather Mac Donald, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering 
Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 
2018); and Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: 
How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (New York: 
Penguin Press, 2018). 

These include Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt, Higher Superstition: The Academic Left 

"and Its Quarrels with Science (Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 

1994); Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate, The Shadow University: The Betrayal 
of Liberty on America’s Campuses (New York: The Free Press, 1998); Alan Sokal and 
Jean Bricmont, Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science (New 
York: Picador, 1999); Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, Professing Feminism: 
Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women’s Studies (New York: Basic Books, 
1994); Salim Mansur, Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism 

(Brantford, Ontario: Mantua Books, 2011); and Bruce Bawer, The Victims’ Revolution: 
The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind (New York: 
HarperCollins, 2012). 

Chapter Two Thinking versus Feeling, Truth versus Hurt 


. David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, 1739 edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 

* 1896), 415. 


Hans J. Eysenck, Rebel with a Cause (London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1990), 119. 

Michael Shermer, How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God (New 
York: Henry Holt, 2000), 90. 

Gad Saad, “Evolutionary Consumer Psychology,” in Handbook of Evolutionary 
Psychology, ed. David M. Buss (New York: Wiley, 2015), 1143-60. 

Matt Ridley, Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, & What Makes Us Human (New 
York: HarperCollins, 2003), 280. 

Gad Saad, The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift 
Giving Reveal about Human Nature (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2011). 
Richard E. Petty and John T. Cacioppo, “The Elaboration Likelihood Model of 
Persuasion” in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, ed. Leonard Berkowitz, 19 
(New York: Academic Press, 1986), 123-205. 

M. J. Rosenberg, “An Analysis of Affective-Cognitive Consistency,” in Attitude 
Organization and Change: An Analysis of Consistency Among Attitude Components, eds. 
C. I. Hovland and M. J. Rosenberg (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 
1960), 15-64. 

Randolph M. Nesse and Phoebe C. Ellsworth, “Evolution, Emotions, and Emotional 
Disorders,” American Psychologist 64, no. 2 (2009): 129-39. 

David M. Buss et al., “Sex Differences in Jealousy: Evolution, Physiology, and 
Psychology,” Psychological Science 3, no. 4 (1992): 251-55. 

. Christopher K. Hsee et al., “Lay Rationalism: Individual Differences in Using Reason 

versus Feelings to Guide Decisions,” Journal of Marketing Research 52 (February 2015): 

. Mark Steyn, “The Absurd Trial of Geert Wilders,” Maclean’s, February 18, 2010, 

. “Academics’ Mobbing of a Young Scholar Must Be Denounced,” Quillette, December 7, 

be-denounced/. ; 

. Theodore Dalrymple, “A Foolish, Fond Old Man,” BMJ 335, no. 7623 (2007): 777. 
. Gad Saad, “Tell My Wife That I Love Her,” THE SAAD TRUTH 343, January 20, 2017, 

YouTube video, 

. Rachel Brown, “Talking Points: Three Cheers for White Men,” Fencing Bear at Prayer 

Blog, June 5, 2015, 
Peter Wood, “Anatomy of a Smear,” Inside Higher Ed, September 10, 2018, 

. “Psychoanalysis Q-and-A: Steven Pinker, 

. Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci, “National Hiring Experiments Reveal 2:1 
" Faculty Preference for Women on STEM Tenure Track,” Proceedings of the National 

. See my appearance on Sam Harris’s Waking Up podcast shortly prior to election day. 
. For an exhaustive list of decision rules, see John Payne, James Bettman, and Eric 

Johnson, The Adaptive Decision Maker (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993). 

. Elizabeth F. Loftus, “Eyewitness Science and the Legal System,” Annual Review of Law 
" and Social Science, 14 (2018): 1-10. 
. Lawrence H. Summers, “Remarks at NBER Conference on Diversifying the Science & 

Engineering Workforce,” January 14, 2015, Cambridge, Massachusetts. See also Sam 
Dillon, “Harvard Chief Defends His Talk on Women,” New York Times, January 18, 


Harvard Crimson, January 19, 2005, 

Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, no. 17 (2015): 5360-65. 
Gad Saad, “The Consuming Instinct,” Talks at Google, July 21, 2017, YouTube video, 

. Gad Saad, “My Chat with Ex-Google Employee James Damore,” THE SAAD TRUTH 
* 540, November 6, 2017, YouTube video, fk4DkijVs. 
. Daisuke Wakabayashi, “Google Fires Engineer Who Wrote Memo Questioning 

Women in Tech,” New York Times, August 7, 2017, 

. “Cern Scientist Alessandro Strumia Suspended after Comments,” BBC, October 1, 
" 2018, 

. “Statement on a Recent Talk at CERN,” High Energy Physics Community Statement, 

. “Gender Controversy Comes to Physics: A Response to the Statement against 
* Alessandro Strumia,” Areo Magazine, October 31, 2018, 

. Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (New York: Abingdon Press, 


. Gad Saad, “My Chat with Physicist Alessandro Strumia,” THE SAAD TRUTH 809, 
* December 10, 2018, YouTube video, 

. Martin Rosenbaum, “Pseudonyms to Protect Authors of Controversial Articles,” BBC, 
* November 12, 2018, 146766. 

. Robin McKie, “Tim Hunt: T've Been Hung Out to Dry. They Haven't Even Bothered to 

Ask for My Side of Affairs,” The Guardian, June 13, 2015, 
Robin McKie, “Sir Tim Hunt: My Gratitude to Female Scientists for Their Support,” 
The Guardian, June 20, 2015, 

. Gordon G. Gallup Jr., Rebecca L. Burch, and Steven M. Platek, “Does Semen Have 
" Antidepressant Properties?” Archives of Sexual Behavior 31, no. 3 (2002): 289-93. 
. Gardiner Harris, “Head of Surgeons Group Resigns over Article Viewed as Offensive to 

Women,” New York Times, April 17, 2011, https://nytims/2OXSoeN. 

. Michael Smerconish, “Lazar Greenfield’s “Semengate’ Stuns Scientific Community,” 
“HuffPost, April 25, 2011, _ 


. Boris Johnson, “Dr. Matt Taylor’s Shirt Made Me Cry, Too—with Rage at His Abusers,” 

The Telegraph, November 16, 2014, 

39. Taylor Wofford, “An Interview with the Woman behind the #Shirtgate Shirt,” 
~~ Newsweek, November 20, 2014, 

40. Gad Saad, “Niqab Is ‘Freely Chosen’ while Bikini Is Oppressive?” THE SAAD TRUTH 
~™ 47, June 22, 2015, YouTube video, 

Chapter Three Non-Negotiable Elements of a Free and 
Modern Society 


. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, rev. ed. (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1863) 35-36. 
. Niall Ferguson, Civilization: The West and the Rest (New York: Penguin Books, 2011). 
US. Senator Josh Hawley has _ proposed such __legislation: 




. “Disinvitation Report 2014: A Disturbing 15-Year Trend,” Foundation for Individual 
Rights in Education, May 28, 2014, 
report-2014/. a a ama 
“Best and Worst Student Unions Regarding Practices,” Campus Freedom Index, 2019, 
Salman Rushdie, “Democracy Is No Polite Tea Party,” Los Angeles Times, February 7, 
Patricia Cohen, “Yale Press Bans Images of Muhammad in New Book,” New York 
Times, August 12, 2009, 
. Gad Saad, “Blasphemy Laws Belong in the Dark Ages,” Psychology Today, December 14, 
consumericus/201112/blasphemy-laws-belong-in-the-dark-ages. sSsS~S 
Gad Saad, “Masturbating with a Crucifix in a Film... No Riots?” Psychology Today, 
September 20, 2012, 
consumericus/201209/masturbating-crucifix-in-film-no-riots. ssS~S~S 
Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, “Who Decides What Is Acceptable Speech on 
Campus? Why Restricting Free Speech Is Not the Answer,” Perspectives on 
Psychological Science 13, no. 3 (2018): 299-323. 
. Wyndham Lewis, Rude Assignment (London: Hutchinson, 1950), 48. 
. Peter Sloterdijk, Critique of Cynical Reason (Minneapolis, Minnesota: The University of 

Minnesota Press, 1987), 288. 
. Thomas Jefferson, “Thomas Jefferson to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp,” Founders 
Online, National Archives, July 30, 1816, 

Sarah Crown, “Poem of the Week,” July 2, 2007, The Guardian, 


. Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins), “Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one 
of our great mediaeval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding ‘Allahu 
Akhbar.’ Or is that just my cultural upbringing?” Twitter, July 16, 2018, 3:00 p.m., 

Ged Sead (@Gldsead) “Dea? Richard: AEC & ay mother tongue, Whed wiopely 
translated, ‘Allahu Akbar’ means ‘we love all people but hold a special fondness for 
Jews, women, and gays.’ Don’t worry. It’s a message of love, tolerance, and liberalism,” 
Twitter, July 16, 2018, 3:09 p-m., 

. Gad Saad, “My Tweet to Richard Dawkins Heard around the World” THE SAAD 

TRUTH 703, July 17, 2018, YouTube video, 
v=VxKvcVFnRhk. ; 

. Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “No way Donald. @AOC is a woman of color in Trump’s 

MAGA country. She faces much greater daily threats than those Holocaust survivors 
ever did,” Twitter, June 22, 2109, 1:05 p-m., 

. The 20 Worst Quotes of 2018: See quote #7. I recount this 

glorious satirical blindness on the part of PJ Media in THE SAAD TRUTH 815: “My 
SARCASTIC Quote Listed in the Top 20 Worst Quotes of 2018!” December 31, 2018, 
YouTube video, 

. Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “To all Noble Undocumented ‘immigrants’: We apologize for 

our bigotry and racism. It is Nazism to not allow you to vote in our elections. After all, 
national borders is Nazism. Nationhood is Nazism. In a just world, everyone should get 
to vote in any district. #WeApologize,” Twitter, November 6, 2018, 1:21 p.m., 

. Cristina Lopez, “The Joe Rogan Experience Disproportionately Hosts Men,” April 15, 
2019, MediaMatters, _ 


. Elizabeth Gibney, “What the Nobels Are—and Aren’t—Doing to Encourage Diversity,” 

Nature, September 28, 2018, 
z#correction-0. ; 

. It is no longer active. 
. Graeme Hamilton, “Quebec Deputy Minister Gets Pushback after Questioning Place of 
“Indigenous ‘Traditional Knowledge,” National Post, March 27, 2018, 
questioning-place-of-indigenous-traditional-knowledge. . 

. Gad Saad, “Death of the West by a Thousand Cuts,” THE SAAD TRUTH 511, 

September 25, 2017, YouTube video,¢v=Y0a_gtYojus. 

. Tristin Hopper, “Law Professor Argues in UBC Human Rights Complaint That 

Indigenous Scholars Shouldn’t Have to Publish Peer-Reviewed Research,” National 
Post, January 24, 2016, 

. Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig 

von Mises Institute, 1998), 76. 

. Jorg Guido Hiilsmann, Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig 

von Mises Institute, 2007), 668. 

. Gad Saad, “My Chat with Economist Mark Perry,” THE SAAD TRUTH 1007, January 
” 28, 2020, YouTube video,; Mark 

Perry, “More on My Efforts to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and End 
Gender Discrimination in Michigan,” AEIdeas, American Enterprise Institute, May 17, 
and-indusion. ts~=~CS~S~s=‘“‘—SOSOS”S”S”S”S”S”S”S~<“<“_™SSSSS 

. Frederick L. Oswald et al, “Predicting Ethnic and Racial Discrimination: A Meta- 

Analysis of LAT Criterion Studies,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 105, no. 

2 (2013): 171-92. 

. Mike Noon, “Pointless Diversity Training: Unconscious Bias, New Racism and 

Agency,” Work, Employment and Society 32, no. 1 (2018): 198-209. 

. Tom Bartlett, “Can We Really Measure Implicit Bias? Maybe Not,” Chronicle of Higher 

Education, January 5, 2017, 
Measure-Implicit/238807. ; 

. “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Statement FAQs,” Office of Equity, Diversity 
‘and Inclusion, UCLA, September 5, 2019, 

Francis S. Collins, “Time to End the Manel Tradition,” National Institutes of Health, 
June 12, 2019, 


. Simon Baron-Cohen (@sbaroncohen), “Scientists and other academics should follow 

this excellent example & refuse to speak on all male panels in conferences/scholarly 
meetings. This includes as keynote speakers or in round table discussions. A change in 
gender diversity has to happen quickly,” Twitter June 14, 2019, 6:39 p.m., 

. Christopher F. Cardiff and Daniel B. Klein, “Faculty Partisan Affiliations in All 
" Disciplines: A Voter-Registration Study,” Critical Review 17, no. 3-4 (2005): 237-55. 
. Mitchell Langbert, Anthony J. Quain, and Daniel B. Klein, “Faculty Voter Registration 

in Economics, History, Journalism, Law, and Psychology,” Econ Journal Watch 13, no. 
3 (2016): 422-51. 

. Adam Bonica et al., “The Legal Academy’s Ideological Uniformity,” Journal of Legal 
" Studies 47, no. 1 (2018): 1-43. 

. Mitchell Langbert, “Homogeneous: The Political Affiliations of Elite Liberal Arts 
, College Faculty,” Academic Questions 31, no. 2 (2018): 186-97. 

Thomas Sowell, “Random Thoughts,” Jewish World Review, July 31, 1998, 

. Samuel Abrams, “Think Professors Are Liberal? Try Administrators,” New York Times, 

October 16, 2018, 
administrators.html. : 

. Jerry O'Mahoney, “Students, Faculty, Administration Respond Following National 
" Publication of SLC Professor's Op-Ed,” Sarah Lawrence Phoenix, October 18, 2018, 

. Yoel Inbar and Joris Lammers, “Political Diversity in Social and Personality 

Psychology,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 7, no. 5 (2012): 496-503. 

. Jeremy A. Frimer, Linda J. Skitka, and Matt Motyl, “Liberals and Conservatives Are 
" Similarly Motivated to Avoid Exposure to One Another’s Opinions,” Journal of 

Experimental Social Psychology 72 (September 2017): 1-12. 

. Andy Kiersz and Hunter Walker, “These Charts Show the Political Bias of Workers in 

Each Profession,” Business Insider, November 3, 2014, 

"; Ana Swanson, “Chart: The 

“Democratic vs. Republican Occupations,” Verdant Labs, 2016, 

Most Liberal and Conservative Jobs in America, Washington Post, June 3, 2015, 

. Rani Molla, “Tech Employees Are Much More Liberal Than Their Employers—at Least 

as Far as the Candidates They Support,” Vox, October 21, 2018, 
employers-candidates. ; 

. Lars Willnat and David Weaver, “The American Journalist in the Digital Age: Key 

Findings,” School of Journalism, Indiana University, 2014, 
findings.pdf. : 

. Eitan D. Hersh and Matthew N. Goldenberg, “Democratic and Republican Physicians 
" Provide Different Care on Politicized Health Issues,” Proceedings of the National 

Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113, no. 42 (2016): 11811-16. 

. Margot Sanger-Katz, “Your Surgeon Is Probably a Republican, Your Psychiatrist a 

Democrat,” New York Times, October 7s 2016, 
your-psychiatrist-probably-a-democrat.html. ‘ 

. Ronald Reagan, “Encroaching Control,” March 30, 1961, YouTube video, 42:41, See also Robert Mann, Becoming 
Ronald Reagan: The Rise of a Conservative Icon (Lincoln, Nebraska: Potomac Books, 
2019), 119. 

Chapter Four Anti-Science, Anti-Reason, and Illiberal 


Be | 

. Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (New York: 

” Viking, 2002). 

John B. Watson, Behaviorism (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1924), 82. 


Ibid., 75. 

I originally recounted this anecdote here: Gad Saad, “Applying Evolutionary 
Psychology in Understanding the Representation of Women in Advertisements,” 
Psychology & Marketing 21, no. 8 (2004): 593-612. 

. Gad Saad, “My Chat with Psychologist Jordan Peterson,” THE SAAD TRUTH 265, 
October 11, 2016, YouTube video, 

. Gad Saad, “Full Testimony at the Canadian Senate,” THE SAAD TRUTH 421, May 11, 

2017, YouTube video, qryoEJqZg. 

Bradford Richardson, “California First-Grader Sent to Principal’s Office for 
Misgendering —_ Classmate,” Washington Times, August 23, 2017, 
4 Olivia Petter, “JK Rowling Criticized over “Transphobic’ Tweet about Menstruation,” 

June 7, 2020, 

menstruate-people-transphobia-twitter-a9552866.html; Julie Mazziotta, “Transgender 

Activist Freebleeds to Show Men Can Menstruate Too: It’s ‘Harmful to Equate Periods 

with Womanhood,” People, July 25, 2017, 

activist-freebleed-men-can-menstruate/; Helena Horton, “Boys Can Have Periods Too, 

Children to Be Taught in Latest Victory for Transgender Campaigners,” The Telegraph, 

December 16, 2018, 


; Julian Castro (@JulianCastro), “Thank you, Charlotte! Last night I misspoke - it’s trans 
men, trans masculine, and non-binary folks who need full access to abortion and repro 
healthcare. And I’m grateful to ALL trans and non-binary folks for their labor in 
guiding me on _ this issue,” Twitter, June 27, 2019, 4:29 pm, 

. Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “Dear @JulianCastro, I'm a trans woman looking to conduct a 
cervical exam. Do you know of a good gynaecologist that you might be willing to 
recommend?” Twitter, June 27, 2019, 12:02 a.m., 

. Megan Fox, “Clown World: Canadian Cancer Society Claims Men without Cervixes 
Can Get Cervical Cancer,” PJ Media, September 11, 2019, 

. Douglas Ernst, “Elizabeth Warren Vows: Transgender Child Must Approve of Secretary 

“Of Education Nominee,” Washington Times, January 30, 2020, 
transgender-child-must-appro/. ; 

. Leonid Rozenblit and Frank Keil, “The Misunderstood Limits of Folk Science: An 
" Illusion of Explanatory Depth,” Cognitive Science 26, no. 5 (2002): 521-62. 
. David P. McCabe and Alan D. Castel, “Seeing Is Believing: The Effect of Brain Images 

on Judgments of Scientific Reasoning,” Cognition 107, no. 1 (2008): 343-52; J. D. Trout, 
“Seduction without Cause: Uncovering Explanatory Neurophilia,” Trends in Cognitive 
Sciences 12, no. 8 (2008): 281-82; Deena Skolnick Weisberg et al., “The Seductive 
Allure of Neuroscience Explanations,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 20, no. 3 
(2008): 470-77; Deena Skolnick Weisberg, Jordan C. V. Taylor, and Emily J. Hopkins, 
“Deconstructing the Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations,” Judgment and 
Decision Making 10, no. 5 (2015): 429-41; Justin Garcia and Gad Saad, “Evolutionary 
Neuromarketing: Darwinizing the Neuroimaging Paradigm for Consumer Behavior,” 
Journal of Consumer Behaviour 7, no. 4-5 (2008): 397-414; Gad Saad and Gil 
Greengross, “Using Evolutionary Psychology to Enhance the Brain Imaging Paradigm,” 
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8 (2014): 452, 

. Gordon Pennycook et al., “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound 
* Bullshit,” Judgment and Decision Making 10, no. 6 (2015): 549-63. 

. Mike Springer, “John Searle on Foucault and the Obscurantism in French Philosophy,” 
Philosophy, July 1, 2013,, 

. Anthony Barnes, “Blank Canvas: London Gallery Unveils ‘Invisible’ Art Exhibition,” 

The Independent, May 19, 2012, _ 
7767057 html. 

. Alan D. Sokal, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics 
” of Quantum Gravity,” Social Text 46/47 (Spring/Summer 1996): 217-52. See also Alan 

Sokal and Jean Bricmont, Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of 
Science (New York: Picador, 1998). 

. Gad Saad, “Death of Common Sense Will Spell the End of Free Societies,” Psychology 

Today, May 5, 2010, 
consumericus/201005/death-common-sense-will-spell-the-end-free-societies. : 

. Gad Saad, “How the Social Construction of the Penis Affects Climate Change,” THE 

SAAD TRUTH 433, May 20, 2017, YouTube video, 
v=IMv8-uPqZ5M. ; 

. Retraction statement regarding the paper in question: Jamie Lindsay and Peter Boyle, 
" “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” Cogent Social Sciences, May 19, 2017,; Scott —Jaschik, 
“How the Hoax Got Published,” Inside Higher Ed, May 25, 2017, 

. Gad Saad, “The Grievance Studies Exposé” THE SAAD TRUTH 739, October 4, 2018, 
" YouTube video,; Gad Saad, “The Grievance Studies 

Papers Are Fantastic!—Part I,” THE SAAD TRUTH 742, October 7, 2018, YouTube 

video,; Gad Saad, “The Grievance Studies Papers Are 
Fantastic!—Part II,” THE SAAD TRUTH 743, October 8, 2018, YouTube video, 

. Katherine Mangan, “Proceedings Start against ‘Sokal Squared’ Hoax Professor,” 

Chronicle of Higher Education, January 7, 2019, 

. Alex Ballinger, “Rachel McKinnon Becomes First Transgender Woman to Win Track 
" World Title,” Cycling Weekly, October 17, 2018, 
transgender-woman-win-track-world-title-397473. : 

. Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “Dear Dr. @rachelvmckinnon: I appreciate your desire to fight 

for fairness when it comes to transgender rights. Do you think though that the 
biological women who lost against you have a right to feel aggrieved when a biological 
male beats them in a women’s competition?” Twitter, October 14, 2018, 6:11 p.m.,; Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “Or 
do you think that the behavioral, anatomical, physiological, morphological, and 
hormonal advantages that men possess over women in such competitions are mere 
social constructions imposed by the transphobic patriarchy? I'd be happy to chat with 
you on my show THE SAAD TRUTH,” Twitter, October 14, 2018, 6:11 p.m., 

. Gad Saad, “Entering World Judo Championship as a TransGravity and TransAgeist 

Competitor,” THE SAAD TRUTH 755, October 18, 2018, YouTube video, 

. ‘Dutch Man, 69, Who ‘Identifies as 20 Years Younger’ Launches Legal Battle to Change 

Age,” The Telegraph, November 7, 2018, 
younger-launches-legal-battle/. j 

. Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “What gives the right of my physician to use antiquated notions 

of weight to determine that I need to lose weight. Real scientists now know that a given 
weight scale reading is not fixed but rather fluid. Plus what about those who wish to be 
weightless? Don’t they have rights?” Twitter, December 5, 2017, 2:05 p.m., 

. Claire Toureille, “Trans Woman Files Human Rights Complaint against Canadian Spa 
” That Refused to Wax Her,” PinkNews, May 21, 2018, 
canada-spa/. , 

. Douglas Quan, “‘Not for Men Sorry’: Transgender Woman Denied a Brazilian Wax by 
" Spa Files Human Rights Complaint,” Canadian National Post, August 22, 2018, 
human-rights-complaint-after-being-denied-brazilian-wax. . 

. Tristan Hopper, “Canada’s Oldest Rape Crisis Centre Stripped of City Funding for 

Refusing to Accept Trans Women,” Canadian National Post, March 19, 2019, 
city-funding-for-refusing-to-accept-trans-women. , 

. Gad Saad (@GadSaad) “Dear @CydZeigler: 'm currently watching you on @foxnews. 

Do you not think that transwomen (biological males) exhibit physiological, anatomical, 

. Colleen Flaherty, “Journal Looking into Study on ‘Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria,’” 
" Inside Higher Ed, August 31, 2018, 

morphological, and hormonal differences as compared to biological females? As an 
evolutionary behavioral scientist who,” Twitter, February 18, 2019, 10:58 p.m.,; Gad Saad 
(@GadSaad), “has researched evolutionary-based sex differences, I was under the 
impression that sex differences exist. Perhaps you’d like to come on my show and 
educate me?” Twitter, February 18, 2019, 10:58 p-m., 

. PinkNews (@PinkNews), “Trans women are women. So trans women’s bodies are 

women’s bodies. So trans women’s penises are women’s penises,” Twitter, February 19, 
2019, 6:45 p.m, _ 
s=20. Incidentally, a few months earlier I had satirically suggested that if one gave oral 
sex to a trans woman (a biological male) it would constitute cunnilingus. Gad Saad, 
“TransCunnilingus—My Prophetic Satire Strikes Again,” THE SAAD TRUTH 796, 
November 28, 2018, YouTube video, _ 
v=OXmMvetnTTU. =... = 

. Pat Eaton-Robb, “Transgender Sprinters Finish 1st, 2nd at Connecticut Girls Indoor 
‘Track Championships,” Washington Times, February 24, 2019, 
transgender-sprinter/. : 

. Lisa Littman, “Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Young Adults: A 
: Study of Parental Reports,” PLOS ONE 13, no. 8 (August 16, 2018), 

onset-gender-dysphoria. ; 

. Chelsea Ritschel, “Charlize Theron Says She Is Raising Her Child as a Girl: ‘It’s Not for 
" Me to Decide,” The Independent, April 19, 2019, 

style/charlize-theron-children-transgender-jackson-age-girl-boy-a8878686.html. ; 

. The three tweets in question: Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “So brave, so stunning, so 

progressive. Well done @CharlizeAfrica. I raised my children as non-arboreal 
multicellular carbon-based agents. I did not impose a species on them. It’s for them to 
decide whether they wish to be part of Homo sapiens or not,” Twitter, April 20, 2019, 
4:53 p.m.,; Gad Saad 
(@GadSaad), “I'm following the lead of the parental heroism of @CharlizeAfrica. I’ve 
advised my non-arboreal multicellular carbon-based agents (children) that they do not 
need to call my wife and I ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ respectively. We are gender-neutral non- 
binary caregivers 1 and 2,” ‘Twitter, April 20 2019, 4:59 pm,; and Gad Saad 
(@GadSaad), “I don’t want my children to be restricted to viewing themselves as 
carbon-based. This is why I am now immersing them in the fluidity of the Periodic 
Table. I've asked them to look at all elements and decide which ones they self-identify 
with (in terms of their building blocks),” Twitter, April 20, 2019, 5:15 p.m., 

. Sara B. Johnson, Robert W. Blum, and Jay N. Giedd, “Adolescent Maturity and the 

Brain: The Promise and Pitfalls of Neuroscience Research in Adolescent Health Policy,” 

Journal of Adolescent Health 45, no. 3 (2009): 216-21. 

. Madeline Fry, “Lowering the Voting Age to 16 Is a Crazy Idea,” Washington Examiner, 
"May 18, 2020, 


. Chuck Weber, “Teacher's Refusal to Supervise Transgender Student in Locker Room 

Sparks Debate,” ABC6 News, December 15, 2018, 

Goicender cialeat ns Iececsesia apace Joy Bulan. “achocl Punishes 
Male Teacher for Refusing to Watch a Naked Girl in the Boys’ Locker Room,” The 
Federalist, November 14, 2018, 

. Adapted from: Peter Glick and Susan T. Fiske, “The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: 
" Differentiating Hostile and Benevolent Sexism,” Journal of Personality and Social 

Psychology 70, no. 3 (1996): 491-512. The scale is found on page 512. 

. Gad Saad, “The Acronym for Benevolent Sexism Is BS: The Linguistic Irony Is 

Delicious,” Psychology Today, January 7, 2009, 
Ttems Used to Measure Benevolent Sexism,” Psychology Today, January 8, 2009, 

. “Why Women Receive Less CPR from Bystanders,” American Heart Association, 
" November 5, 2018,; 

Emma Teitel, “When It Comes to Life-Saving CPR, Men Are Too Worried about 
Touching Women:  Teitel,” Toronto Star, November 14, 2017, 

. Gad Saad, “Is Toxic Masculinity a Valid Concept?” Psychology Today, March 8, 2018, 
masculinity-valid-concept. ; 

. Christina Hoff Sommers, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming 

Our Young Men (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001). 

. Anthony Gockowski, “Schools Offer ‘Safe Spaces’ to Combat “Toxic Masculinity,” 

Campus Reform, January 16, 2017, 

. “Can Fashion End Toxic Masculinity?” Events, Cornell University, May 1, 2019,; “Men’s Cuddling 
Group Aims to Redefine Masculinity and Heal Trauma,” News and Events, Lehigh 
University, March 26, 2019,’s-cuddling- 
group-aims-redefine-masculinity-and-heal-trauma. SCS 

. Kathleen Elliott, “Challenging Toxic Masculinity in Schools and Society,” On the 

Horizon 26, no. 1 (2018): 17-22. 

. Breanne Fahs and Michael Karger, “Women’s Studies as Virus: Institutional Feminism 
“and the Projection of Danger,” Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies 5, no. 1 

(2016): 929-57. 

. Anastasia Salter and Bridget Blodgett, Toxic Geek Masculinity in Media: Sexism, 
Trolling, and Identity Policing, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). 

. Mari Kate Mycek, “Meatless Meals and Masculinity: How Veg* Men Explain Their 
" Plant-Based Diets,” Food and Foodways 26, no. 3 (2018): 223-45; Anne DeLessio- 

Parson, “Doing Vegetarianism to Destabilize the Meat-Masculinity Nexus in La Plata, 
Argentina,” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 24, no. 12 
(2017): 1729-48. 

. Lisa Wade, “The Big Picture: Confronting Manhood after Trump,” Public Books, 

October 26, 2017, 
trump/. ‘ 

. Suzannah Walters, “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” Washington Post, June 8, 2018, 
men/2018/06/08/fla3a8e0-6451-1 Te8-a69c-b944de66d9e7_story.html? 
noredirect=on&utm_term=.af070edc055d. : 

. Hillary Clinton, “First Ladies’ Conference on Domestic Violence, San Salvador, El 

Salvador,” Web Archive, November 17, 1998, 

. Jos Boys, “Is There a Feminist Analysis of Architecture?” Built Environment 10, no. 1 
" (1984): 25-34; Emily Martin, “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a 

Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles,” Signs 16, no. 3 (1991): 485-501; 
Whitney Stark, “Assembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities,” Minnesota 
Review 88 (2017): 69-82; Agnes Kovacs, “Gender in the Substance of Chemistry, Part 1: 
The Ideal Gas,” HYLE—International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry 18, no. 2 
(2012): 95-120; Agnes Kovacs, “Gender in the Substance of Chemistry, Part 2: An 
Agenda for Theory,” HYLE—International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry 18, no. 2 
(2012): 121-43; Geraldine Pratt, “Feminist Geography,” Urban Geography 13, no. 4 
(1992): 385-91; Leone Burton, “Moving Towards a Feminist Epistemology of 
Mathematics,” Educational Studies in Mathematics 28, no. 3 (1995): 275-91; Mark 
Carey et al., “Glaciers, Gender, and Science: A Feminist Glaciology Framework for 
Global Environmental Change Research,” Progress in Human Geography 40, no. 6 
(2016): 770-93. 

. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics (New York: Cosimo Classics, 2007), 


. Gina Rippon, The Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience That Shatters the Myth of the 

Female Brain (London: The Bodley Head, 2019). Two other academic proponents of 
this view recently penned an opinion article in the New York Times: Daphna Joel and 
Cordelia Fine, “Can We Finally Stop Talking about ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ Brains?” New 
York Times, December 3, 2018, 
female-brains-mosaic.html. i ai a aia, 

. Gad Saad, “I’m Getting a Giraffe as a House Pet!” THE SAAD TRUTH 862, March 4, 
” 2019, YouTube video, 
. Amber N. V. Ruigrok et al., “A Meta-Analysis of Sex Differences in Human Brain 

Structure,” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 39 (February 2014): 34-50; Stuart J. 
Ritchie et al., “Sex Differences in the Adult Human Brain: Evidence from 5216 UK 
Biobank Participants,” Cerebral Cortex 28, no. 8 (2018): 2959-75. 

. Lise Eliot, “Neurosexism: The Myth That Men and Women Have Different Brains,” 

Nature, February 27, 2019, 

. Gad Saad, “Women’s Studies and Diversity: Where Are the Men?” THE SAAD TRUTH 
” 319, December 23, 2016, YouTube video, 
. John Phelan, “Harvard Study: ‘Gender Wage Gap’ Explained Entirely by Work Choices 

of Men and Women,” Foundation for Economic Education, December 10, 2018, 
choices-of-men-and-women/. : 

. Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand), “Here’s an idea: If you win 13-0—the most goals 

for a single game in World Cup history—you should be paid at least equally to the 
men’s team. Congratulations, #USWNT!” Twitter, June 11, 2019, 4:59 p.m. 

. Tara Golshan, “How the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team 13-0 World Cup Win against 

Thailand Became about Pay Equity,” Vox, June 11, 2019, 
win-thailand-pay-gap. ; 

. United Nations (@UN), “1 male soccer player makes almost double as much as the 
‘ combined salaries of all players in the top 7 women’s soccer leagues. During the 

#WomensWorldCup2019, join @UN_Women in demanding equal pay for 
#WomenInSport,” Twitter, June 23, 2019, 6:03 p-m., 

. Roger Gonzalez, “FC Dallas Under-15 Boys Squad Beat the U.S. Women’s National 

Team in a Scrimmage,” CBS Sports, April 4, 2017, 

s-womens-national-team-in-a-scrimmage/; James Benge, “Australian Women’s 
National Team Lose 7-0 to Team of 15-Year-Old Boys,” Evening Standard, May 2, 
2016, —_ 
lose-70-to-team-of- 1 5yearold-boys-a3257266.html. ; 

. Stephen Kiehl, “‘I Think We’re Getting Hijacked,” New York Daily News, September 
10, 2006, 

Chapter Five Campus Lunacy: The Rise of the Social 
Justice Warrior 





ee | 

. Edward Schlosser, “I’m a Liberal Professor and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” Vox, 

June 3, 2015, 
William McKinley, Speeches and Addresses of William McKinley: From His Election to 
Congress to the Present Time (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1893), 393. 

See also Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, The Rise of Victimhood Culture: 
Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars (New York: Palgrave 
Macmillan, 2018). 

Bertrand Russell, “The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed,” in Unpopular Essays (New 
York: Routledge, 2009). 

Valerie Richardson, “Attack by White Mob on Gay Asian Journalist Upends Left’s 
Identity-Politics Script,” Washington Times, July 2, 2019, 
Steve Stankevicius, “Intellectually Sterile Universities Are Causing Idea Allergies,” The 
Daily Banter, March 8, 2016, 
universities-are-causing-idea-allergies). = 

. Jennifer Billing and Paul W. Sherman, “Antimicrobial Functions of Spices: Why Some 

Like It Hot,” Quarterly Review of Biology 73, no. 1 (1998): 3-49; Paul W. Sherman and 
Geoffrey A. Hash, “Why Vegetable Recipes Are Not Very Spicy,” Evolution and Human 
Behavior 22, no. 3 (2001): 147-63. 

Mark Schaller and Lesley A. Duncan, “The Behavioral Immune System: Its Evolution 
and Social Psychological Implications,” in Evolution and the Social Mind, eds. Joseph P. 
Forgas, Martie Haselton, and William von Hippel (New York: Psychology Press, 2007), 

Pavol Prokop and Jana Fanéovicov, “Preferences for Spicy Foods and Disgust of 
Ectoparasites Are Associated with Reported Health in Humans,” Psihologija 44, no. 4 
(2011): 281-93. 

. Gad Saad, “My Chat with Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey,” THE SAAD TRUTH 843, 

February 5, 2019, YouTube video, 

. Bruce J. Lanser et al., “Current Options for the Treatment of Food Allergy,” Pediatric 

Clinics of North America 62, no. 6 (2015): 1531-49. 

. Scott O. Lilienfeld, “Microaggressions: Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence,” 

Perspectives on Psychological Science 12, no. 1 (2017): 138-69. 

. Gad Saad, “Trigger Warning: I Am about to Critique Trigger Warnings,” HuffPost, 

February 5, 2015, 

. “What Is Exposure Therapy?” PTSD Guideline, American Psychological Assocation, 

July 2017, 

. Izzy Gainsburg and Allison Earl, “Trigger Warnings as an Interpersonal Emotion- 
" Regulation Tool: Avoidance, Attention, and Affect Depend on Beliefs,” Journal of 

Experimental Social Psychology 79 (November 2018): 252-63. 

. Benjamin W. Bellet, Payton J. Jones, and Richard J. McNally, “Trigger Warning: 

Empirical Evidence Ahead,” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 
61 (December 2018): 134-41. 

. Mevagh Sanson, Deryn Strange, and Maryanne Garry “Trigger Warnings Are Trivially 

Helpful at Reducing Negative Affect, Intrusive Thoughts, and Avoidance,” Clinical 
Psychological Science 7, no. 4 (2019): 778-93; See also Payton J. Jones, Benjamin W. 
Bellet, and Richard J. McNally, “Helping or Harming? The Effect of Trigger Warnings 
on Individuals with Trauma Histories,” preprint, submitted July 10, 2019, 

. W. A. Oldfather, C. A. Ellis, and Donald M. Brown, “Leonhard Euler’s Elastic Curves,” 
" Isis 20, no. 1 (1933): 76. 

. Eric L. Charnov, “Optimal Foraging, the Marginal Value Theorem,” Theoretical 
* Population Biology 9, no. 2 (1976): 129-36. 

“Mission, Values, Strategic Vision,” About, Palo Alto University, 

. Hans H. Toch and Albert H. Hastorf, “Homeostasis in Psychology: A Review and 

Critique,” Psychiatry 18, no. 1 (1955): 81-91; John M. Fletcher, “Homeostatis as an 
Explanatory Principle in Psychology,” Psychological Review 49, no. 1 (1942): 80-87; 
Nathan Maccoby and Eleanor E. Maccoby, “Homeostatic Theory in Attitude Change,” 
Public Opinion Quarterly 25, no. 4 (1961): 538-45. 

. Fletcher, “Homeostasis as an Explanatory Principle,” 86. 

Robert A. Cummins, “The Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis: A 
Contribution to Understanding Life Quality,” in A Life Devoted to Quality of Life, ed. 
Filomena Maggino, Social Indicators Research Series 60, (Switzerland: Springer 
International Publishing, 2016), 61-78; Alex C. Michalos, “Multiple Discrepancies 
Theory (MDT),” Social Indicators Research 16 (1985): 347-413. 

Jan-Benedict E. M. Steenkamp and Hans Baumgartner, “The Role of Optimum 
Stimulation Level in Exploratory Consumer Behavior,” Journal of Consumer Research 
19, no. 3 (1992): 434-48; Roland Helm and Sebastian Landschulze, “Optimal 
Stimulation Level Theory, Exploratory Consumer Behavior, and Production Adoption: 
An Analysis of Underlying Structures across Product Categories,” Review of 
Management Science 3, no. 1 (2009): 41-73. 

. Philip M. Parker and Nader T. Tavassoli, “Homeostasis and Consumer Behavior across 
* Cultures,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, 17, no. 1 (2000): 33-53. 

. Gerald J. S. Wilde, “Risk Homeostasis Theory: An Overview,” Injury Prevention 4, no. 2 
" (1998): 89-91. 

. Steven Robbins and Edward Waked, “Hazard of Deceptive Advertising of Athletic 

Footwear,” British Journal of Sports Medicine 31, no. 4 (1997): 299-303. 

. David E. Levari et al., “Prevalence-Induced Concept Change in Human Judgment,” 

Science 360, no. 6396 (2018): 1465-67, Many 
thanks to Greg Gutfeld of Fox News for having alerted me to this highly relevant paper. 

. Many thanks to my good friend Andrew Ryder, a professor of psychology at my 

university, for having alerted me to Haslam’s paper (after I had shared with him my 
theory about the homeostasis of victimology). 


Nick Haslam, “Concept Creep: Psychology’s Expanding Concepts of Harm and 
Pathology,” Psychological Inquiry 27, no. 1 (2016): abstract, 1. 

. Joanna Smith, “Conservative Motion to Label ISIS Actions Genocide Fails as Liberals 

Vote Against,” CBC Canada, June 14, 2016, 
genocide-tory-motion-1.3635632; Brian Lilley, “LILLEY: Trudeau Lets Canada Down 
with Genocide Comment,” Toronto Sun, June 7s 2019, 

genocide-comment; Jonathan Kay, “The Ultimate ‘Concept Creep: How a Canadian 
Inquiry Strips the Word ‘Genocide’ of Meaning,” Quillette, June 3, 2019, 
*Torne Grabher's License Plate Is Not Offensive or Dangerous,’ States Expert Report,” 
Justice Centre for Constitutional | Freedoms, October 25, 2018, 

. “Lorne Grabher’s Licence Plate Dispute Headed Back to Court,” CBC News, March 9, 
* 2020, 
. Alice Lloyd, “College Dean Ousted for Saying Title of Book,” Weekly Standard, June 3, 

title-of-book. ; 

. Michelle McQuigge, “Carleton University Faces Backlash Removing Scale from Athletic 

Facility,” Maclean’s, March 14, 2017, 
university-faces-backlash-removing-scale-from-athletic-facility/. : 

. Jaime Johnson, “Waitrose to Rename ‘Sexist’ Sandwich after Protest by Feminist 

Campaigner,” The Telegraph, October 17, 2018, 
protest-feminist-campaigner/. , 

. Anita Sarkeesian, “How to Be a Feminist” panel, All About Women Festival, Sydney, 

Australia, March 9, 2015, YouTube video, 32:37, 
v=Jzcs4ti_bdI. : 

. Gad Saad, “Long List of Cases of White Supremacy,” THE SAAD TRUTH 538, 

November 4, 2017, YouTube video, _ 
v=HU5U_qDmgec. I’ve since expanded this ever-growing list. : 

. Gad Saad, “Munchausen by Proxy: The Dark Side of Parental Investment Theory?” 
" Medical Hypotheses 75, no. 6 (2010): 479-81. 
. Gregory Yates and Marc D. Feldman, “Factitious Disorder: A Systematic Review of 455 

Cases in the Professional Literature,” General Hospital Psychiatry 41 (July-August 
2016): 20-28; Gregory Yates and Christopher Bass, “The Perpetrators of Medical Child 
Abuse (Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy)—A Systematic Review of 796 Cases,” Child 
Abuse & Neglect 72 (October 2017): 45-53. 

. Gad Saad, “Gad Saad on Hysteria and ‘Collective Munchausen’ around Donald Trump, 

Speaking Out as an Academic, and Evolutionary Psychology 101,” Areo Magazine, 
January 23, 2017, 
evolutionary-psychology-101/; “‘Collective Munchausen’: Dr. Gad Saad on What 

. Samantha Schmidt, 

Drives the ‘Fake Hysteria Associated with Trump,’” The Blaze, February 25, 2019, 

. Wilfred Reilly, Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left Is Selling a Fake Race War, 
" (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2019). 
. Scott Greer, “SJWs Are Putting Politics Back into the Bedroom,” The Daily Caller, 

December 8, 2017, 
into-the-bedroom/. ———s—=“CissSSS—S—<‘<‘<;<7CX2R PSC; 
Gad Saad, “Help Me... My Marriage Is Transphobic!” THE SAAD TRUTH 408, April 
26, 2017, YouTube video, 

. Dave Quinn, “Lena Dunham Says the Oberlin College Food Court Serving Sushi and 

Banh Mi Is Cultural Appropriation,” People, July 15, 2016, 

. Frances Watthanaya, “This Chef Wants to Reclaim Bone Broth,” VICE, October 23, 
* 2018, 


. Mehera Bonner, “Katy Perry Admits She’s Been Appropriating Black and Japanese 

Culture,” Marie Claire, June 12, 2017, 

“It’s Just a Dress’ Teen’s Chinese Prom Attire Stirs Cultural 
Appropriation Debate,” Washington Post, May 1; 2018, 
teens-chinese-prom-attire-stirs-cultural-appropriation-debate/? : 


. Julee Wilson, “Katy Perry Apologizes for Cultural Appropriation, Rocking Cornrows,” 

Essence, June 14, 2017, 
appropriation/. , 

. Erin Jensen, “Vogue Apologizes for Kendall Jenner Photo with ‘Afro’: We ‘Did Not 
” Mean to Offend,” USA Today, October 23, 2018, 
photo-afro-apology/1738143002/. , 

. Hailey Branson-Potts, “San Francisco State Investigating Confrontation over Man’s 

Dreadlocks,” LA Times, March 29, 2016, 
In-sf-state-dreadlocks-20160329-story.html. : 

. “University of Ottawa Yoga Class Cancelled over ‘Oppression’ Concerns Resumes— 

with Indian Teacher,” Canadian National Post, January 26, 2016, 

. Scott Jaschik, “Hoop Earrings and Hate,” Inside Higher Ed, March 15, 2017, 


. Lynne Bunch, “Opinion: Eyebrow Standards Makes Women Feel Ostracized, 

Ridiculed,” L.S.U. Daily Reveille, January 25, 2017, 
ostracized-ridiculed/article_180863ea-e2ad-11e6-afa8-335d23e10243.html. : 

. Conor Friedersdorf, “The New Intolerance of Student Activism,” The Atlantic, 

November 9, 2015, 
intolerance-of-student-activism-at-yale/414810/. : 

. Gad Saad, “Get Your Lebanese-Jewish Cultural Appropriation Clearance Here!” THE 
SAAD TRUTH 465, June 15, 2017, YouTube video, 


. Gad Saad, “I've Received Global Cultural Appropriation Clearances!” THE SAAD 

TRUTH 464, June 14, 2017, YouTube video, 

. Sarah Boesveld, “Becoming Disabled by Choice, Not Chance: ‘Transabled’ People Feel 

Like Impostors in Their Fully Working Bodies,” Canadian National Post, June 3, 2015, 
‘iantabled people IeeLllke-ieiportars athe fully-worline bodies Kom Midlané, 
Psychologist Blinds Woman with Drain Cleaner—Because She Wanted to Be 
Disabled,” The Mirror, October 1, 2015, 
stories/psychologist-blinds-woman-drain-cleaner-6552282; Anna Sedda and Gabriella 
Bottini, “Apotemnophilia, Body Integrity Identity Disorder or Xenomelia? Psychiatric 
and Neurologic Etiologies Face Each Other,” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 
10 (2014): 1255-65. 

. Hillel Fendel, “Heb. U. Paper Finds: IDF Has Political Motives for Not Raping,” Israel 
" National News, Decmber 23, 2007, 

http://www.; Hen 
Mazzig, “An Israeli Soldier to American Jews: Wake up!” Times of Israel, October 10, 

. Anisa Rawhani, “Overt to Covert: What Spending 18 Days Covered with a Hijab 
’ Taught Me about Racism and Stereotyping,” Queen’s University Journal, March 14, 


. Matthew M. Hessel and Scott A. McAninch, “Coral Snake Toxicity,” in StatPearls 

(Treasure Island, Florida: StatPearls Publishing, 2019). Available from 

. Gad Saad, “Why Do Social Justice Warriors Have Colored Hair?” THE SAAD TRUTH 
" 505, September 10, 2017, YouTube video, 

. Emanuel J. Goncalves et al., “Female Mimicry as a Mating Tactic in Males of the 
 Blenniid Fish Salaria Pavo,” Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United 

Kingdom 76, no. 2 (1996): 529-38. 

Mark D. Norman, Julian Finn, and Tom Tregenza, “Female Impersonation as an 
Alternative Reproductive Strategy in Giant Cuttlefish,” Proceedings of the Royal Society 
of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 266, no. 1426 (1999): 1347-49. 

. Culum Brown, Martin P. Garwood, and Jane E. Williamson, “It Pays to Cheat: Tactical 

Deception in a Cephalopod Social Signalling System,” Biology Letters 8, no. 5 (2012): 

. Aaron Sell, John Tooby, and Leda Cosmides, “Formidability and the Logic of Human 

Anger,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 
106, no. 35 (2009): 15073-78; Michael Bang Petersen et al., “The Ancestral Logic of 
Politics: Upper-Body Strength Regulates Men’s Assertion of Self-Interest over 

. Daniel Victor, 

Economic Redistribution,” Psychological Science 24, no. 7 (2013): 1098-103; Michael E. 
Price et al., “Is Sociopolitical Egalitarianism Related to Bodily and Facial Formidability 
in Men?” Evolution and Human Behavior 38, no. 5 (2017): 626-34; Michael Bang 
Petersen and Lasse Laustsen, “Upper-Body Strength and Political Egalitarianism: 
Twelve Conceptual Replications,” Political Psychology 40, no. 2 (2019): 375-94. 

. Richard Sosis, “Why Aren’t We All Hutterites? Costly Signaling Theory and Religious 
* Behavior,” Human Nature 14, no. 2 (2003): 91-127. Another religious ritual that serves 

as a costly signal is male circumcision. 

. Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, rev. ed. (New York: Routledge, 2002), 


. For a discussion of the self-flagellants of the Western world, see Pascal Bruckner, The 

Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton 
University Press, 2010). 

. Incidentally using the term illegal alien in New York City could result in a $250,000 

fine. Christopher Brito, “New York City’s Anti-Discrimination Policy Warns against 
Terms Like ‘egal Alien,” October 1, 2019, 
york-illegal-alien-city-law-fine-hatred-freedom-of-speech/. , 
Daniel Victor, “Reparations Happy Hour’ Invites White People to Pay for Drinks,” 
New York Times, April 26, 2018, 
happy-hour-portland.html. = 

. Regina Jackson and Saira Rao, “White Women: Let’s Talk about Your Racism and Your 

Complicity,” Mission,, 
“Undoing Whiteness,” Rainier “Beach Yoga, 







apter Six Departures from Reason: Ostrich Parasitic 

. George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones: Book One of a Song of Ice and Fire (New York: 

Bantam Books, 2019), 105, 222, 647. 

. Isaac Asimov, The Gods Themselves (New York: Bantam Books, 1990), 239. 

Bandy X. Lee, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental 
Health Experts Assess a President (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017), 273. 
Interestingly, the psychiatrist in question appears to suffer from Collective 
Munchausen when it comes to Donald Trump. 

. Ullica Segerstrale, Defenders of the Truth: The Sociobiology Debate (New York: Oxford 

University Press, 2001). 

Dominique Lecourt, Proletarian Science? The Case of Lysenko (London: NLB, 1977); 
Valery N. Soyfer, Lysenko and the Tragedy of Soviet Science (New Brunswick, New 
Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1994). 

. Gad Saad, “My Chat with Infectious Diseases Specialist Paul Offit,” THE SAAD TRUTH 

1030, April 9, 2020, YouTube video,; Paul A. Offit, 
Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (New York: Basic 
Books, 2011); Paul A. Offit, Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and 
the Search for a Cure (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008); Paul A. Offit, Bad 
Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health 
Information (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018). 

Christina Korownyk et al., “Televised Medical Talk Shows—What They Recommend 
and the Evidence to Support Their Recommendations: A Prospective Observational 
Study,” British Medical Journal 349, no. 7346 (2014). 

. Gad Saad, “The Narcissism and Grandiosity of Celebrities,” Psychology Today, June 15, 

Sander L. van der Linden, Chris E. Clarke, and Edward W. Maibach, “Highlighting 
Consensus among Medical Scientists Increases Public Support for Vaccines: Evidence 
from a Randomized Experiment,” BMC Public Health, 15, no. 1207 (2015), 

. Richard W. Byrne and Andrew Whiten, ed., Machiavellian Intelligence: Social Expertise 
"and the Evolution of Intellect in Monkeys, Apes and Humans (Oxford: Clarendon, 1988); 

Andrew Whiten and Richard W. Byrne, eds., Machiavellian Intelligence II: Extensions 
and Evaluations (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1997). 

. Robert L. Trivers, Social Evolution (Menlo Park, California: Benjamin/Cummings, 
" 1985); Robert L. Trivers, The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in 

Human Life (New York: Basic Books, 2011). 

. Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, rev. ed., trans. James Strachey (1955; 

repr., New York: Basic Books 2010), 596. 

. Thomas L. Webb, Betty P. I. Chang, and Yael Benn, ““The Ostrich Problem’: Motivated 

Avoidance or Rejection of Information about Goal Progress,” Social and Personality 

Psychology Compass 7, no. 11 (2013): 794-807; Niklas Karlsson, George Loewenstein, 
and Duane Seppi, “The Ostrich Effect: Selective Attention to Information,” Journal of 
Risk and Uncertainty 38, no. 2 (2009): 95-115; Dan Galai and Orly Sade, “The “Ostrich 
Effect,’ and the Relationship between the Liquidity and the Yields of Financial Assets” 
Journal of Business 79, no. 5 (2006): 2741-59. 

Gad Saad, “Most Dangerous Global Virus: Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome,” THE SAAD 
TRUTH 104, December 6, 2015, YouTube video, 
v=leXGj_RnGS$4. ees 

. Albert-LAszl6 Barabasi, Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and 

What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life (New York: Plume, 2002). 

. Jeffrey Travers and Stanley Milgram, “An Experimental Study of the Small World 
* Problem,” Sociometry 32, no. 4 (1969): 425-43. See also Duncan J. Watts, Six Degrees: 

The Science of a Connected Age (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003). 

Edwin Wang, ed., Cancer Systems Biology (Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2010). 
“Chaos at Fifty,” Physics Today, May 1, 2013, 

. Bill Nye, “Bill Nye The Science Guy Explains the Connection between Climate Change 

and Terrorism in Paris,” HuffPost, December 1, 2015, 

. Abraham Kaplan, The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioral Science (San 

" Francisco: Chandler Publishing Company, 1964), 28. 

. Abraham Maslow, The Psychology of Science: A Reconnaissance (New York: 

” HarperCollins, 1966), 15. 

. Robert J. Sternberg and Elena L. Grigorenko, “Unified Psychology,” American 
Psychologist 56, no. 12 (2001): 1069-79. 

. The Forbes writer changed the culprit from “toxic masculinity” to “unconscious bias” 

(yet another nonsensical cause) after undoubtedly receiving a lot of blowback. Here is 
the original archived link: The internet never forgets. 

. Salim Mansur, “Evidence,” Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, 

House of Commons Canada, October 1, 2012, 

. Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and James M. Cook, “Birds of a Feather: 
* Homophily in Social Networks,” Annual Review of Sociology 27 (2001): 415-44. 
. Jason D. Boardman, Benjamin W. Domingue, and Jason M. Fletcher, “How Social and 

Genetic Factors Predict Friendship Networks,” Proceedings of the National Academy of 
Sciences of the United States of America 109, no. 43 (2012): 17377-81. 

. Christina Payne and Klaus Jaffe, “Self Seeks Like: Many Humans Choose Their Dog 

Pets Following Rules Used for Assortative Mating,” Journal of Ethology 23, no. 1 (2005): 
15-18; Michael M. Roy and Nicholas J. S. Christenfeld, “Do Dogs Resemble Their 
Owners?” Psychological Science 15, no. 5 (2004): 361-63. 

. Min Zhou, “Intensification of Geo-Cultural Homophily in Global Trade: Evidence from 
* the Gravity Model,” Social Science Research 40, no. 1 (2011): 193-209. 

29. The Religion of Peace, 


. Gad Saad, “50+ Reasons to Explain Terrorism in 67 Countries,” THE SAAD TRUTH 

103, December 5, 2015, YouTube video, 


. Liam Stack, “A Brief History of Deadly Attacks on Abortion Providers,” New York 

Times, November 29, 2015, 

. Dario Fernandez-Morera, The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, 

and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain (Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 
2016); See also “My Chat with Dario Fernandez-Morera, Improved Audio,” THE SAAD 
TRUTH 461, June 9, 2017, YouTube video, 

Gad Saad, “The Holy 3M of Apologia: Mistranslated, Misinterpreted, and 

‘ Misunderstood,” THE SAAD TRUTH 192, June 9, 2016, YouTube video, A MvsE50. 
Meagan Fitzpatrick, “Trudeau Retracts ‘Barbaric’ Remarks,” CBC, March 15, 2011, 

. Stefan Collini, That’s Offensive! Criticism, Identity, Respect (London: Seagull Books, 

2010), 46-47. 

. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, ed. and trans. Nuh Ha 

Mim Keller (Beltsville, Maryland: Amana Publications, 1994), 584, 590. The original in 
Arabic is Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Nagqib al-Misri (1368). 

. George Orwell, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (London: Secker & Warburg, 1945). 
. Mike Royko, “Jesse Jackson’s Message Is Too Advanced for Most,” Baltimore Sun, 

December 3, 1993, _ 
1993337169-story.html. ; 

. Martin Daly and Margo Wilson, Homicide (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1988). 
. Gad Saad, “Our Brains Have Evolved the Ability to Discriminate,” Psychology Today, 

August 11, 2013, 
consumericus/201308/our-brains-have-evolved-the-ability-discriminate. ; 

. Gad Saad, “In Some Instances, Profiling Is Adaptive and Rational,” Psychology Today, 

March 8, 2012, 
consumericus/201203/in-some-instances-profiling-is-adaptive-and-rational. ; 

. Evan Sayet, KinderGarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks and Why He’s 

Convinced That Ignorance Is Bliss (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 
2012), 11. 

Chapter Seven How to Seek Truth: Nomological Networks 
of Cumulative Evidence 


. Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 
* 2005), 1. 

Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber, The Enigma of Reason (Cambridge, Massachusetts: 
Harvard University Press 2017), 8. 

. Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, and Stanley Schachter, When Prophecy Fails 

(Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1956), 3. 

. See David P. Schmitt and June J. Pilcher, “Evaluating Evidence of Psychological 

Adaptation: How Do We Know One When We See One?” Psychological Science 15, no. 
10 (2004): 643-49; Gad Saad, “On the Method of Evolutionary Psychology and Its 
Applicability to Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research 54, no. 3 (June 
2017): 464-77, and references therein. 

Juan Miguel Campanario, “On Influential Books and Journal Articles Initially Rejected 
Because of Negative Referees’ Evaluations,” Science Communication 16, no. 3 (1995): 
304-25; Juan Miguel Campanario and Erika Acedo, “Rejecting Highly Cited Papers: 
The Views of Scientists Who Encounter Resistance to their Discoveries from Other 
Scientists,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 58, 
no. 5 (2007): 734-43; Juan Miguel Campanario, “Rejecting and Resisting Nobel Class 
Discoveries: Accounts by Nobel Laureates,” Scientometrics 81, no. 2 (2009): 549-65. 

. Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (New York: Philosophical 

Library, 1949), 33-34. 

. Frederick R. Schram, “Anatomy of a Controversy,” American Zoologist 32, no. 2 (1992), 
Dean Ornish, “The Power of Science,” HuffPost, January 5, 2012, 

Heiner Evanschitzky et al., “Replication Research’s Disturbing Trend,” Journal of 
Business Research 60, no. 4 (2007): 411-15; Stefan Schmidt, “Shall We Really Do It 
Again? The Powerful Concept of Replication Is Neglected in the Social Sciences,” 
Review of General Psychology 13, no. 2 (2009): 90-100; Matthew C. Makel, Jonathan A. 
Plucker, and Boyd Hegarty, “Replications in Psychology Research: How Often Do They 
Really Occur?” Perspectives on Psychological Science 7, no. 6 (2012): 537-42. See also the 
Reproducibility Project (Center for Open Science). 

. Gad Saad, “The Effects of Dysphoria on Sequential Choice Behavior,” Working paper, 

Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (1998). 

. Gad Saad, “On the Method of Evolutionary Psychology and Its Applicability to 

Consumer Research,” Journal of Marketing Research 54 (June 2017): 464-77. See Figure 
3, p. 468 for the relevant references. 

. But, for recent evidence that questions this link, see Douglas T. Kenrick, “The 

Hourglass Figure Is Not a Sign of Fertility and Health,” Psychology Today, June 17, 
life/201906/the-hourglass-figure-is-not-sign-fertility-and-health. This highlights the 

provisional nature of scientific knowledge, namely an honest scientist must always be 
open to contrary evidence. 

. Paul Thagard, “Explanatory Coherence,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12, no. 3 (1989): 


. Gary L. Brase, “Behavioral Science Integration: A Practical Framework of Multi-Level 

Converging Evidence for Behavioral Science Theories,” New Ideas in Psychology 33 
(April 2014): 8-20. 

. Edward O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (London: Abacus, 1998). 
. Gad Saad, “On the Method of Evolutionary Psychology and Its Applicability to 

Consumer Research,” Journal of Marketing Research 54, no. 3 (2017): 464-77. See 
Figure 2, p. 467 for the relevant references. 
Marcelo Nepomuceno et al., “Testosterone & Gift Giving: Mating Confidence 

" Moderates the Association between Digit Ratios (2D4D and rel2) and Erotic Gift 

Giving,” Personality and Individual Differences 91 (2016): 27-30; Marcelo Nepomuceno 
et al., “Testosterone at Your Fingertips: Digit Ratios (2D:4D and rel2) as Predictors of 
Courtship-Related Consumption Intended to Acquire and Retain Mates,” Journal of 
Consumer Psychology 26, no. 2 (2016): 231-44; Eric Stenstrom ef al., “Testosterone and 
Domain-Specific Risk: Digit Ratios (2D:4D and rel2) as Predictors of Recreational, 
Financial, and Social Risk-Taking Behaviors,” Personality and Individual Differences 51 
(2011): 412-16. 

. Recall that all of the citations corresponding to the toy example can be found in Gad 

Saad, “On the Method of Evolutionary Psychology and Its Applicability to Consumer 
Research,” Journal of Marketing Research 54, no. 1 (2017): 464-77. See Figure 2, p. 467 
for the relevant references. 

. Brenda K. Todd et al., “Sex Differences in Children’s Toy Preferences: A Systematic 

Review, Meta-Regression, and Meta-Analysis,” Infant and Child Development 27, no. 2 
(November 2017): e2064, 

. Gad Saad, “Katie Holmes Is Taller Than Tom Cruise: This Proves That Men Are Not 
‘Taller Than Women... No It Doesn't!” Psychology Today, April 13, 2009, 
is-taller-tom-cruise-proves-men-are-not-taller-women-no. ; 

. Lee Ellis et al., Sex Differences: Summarizing More Than a Century of Scientific Research 

(New York: Psychology Press, 2008). 

. David M. Buss, “Sex Differences in Human Mate Preferences: Evolutionary Hypotheses 
" Tested in 37 Cultures,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12, no. 1 (1989): 1-49. 
. Lingshan Zhang et al., “Are Sex Differences in Preferences for Physical Attractiveness 

and Good Earning Capacity in Potential Mates Smaller in Countries with Greater 
Gender — Equality?” = Evolutionary — Psychology = 17, no. 2 (2019), 

. Jonathan Gottschall et al., “Sex Differences in Mate Choice Criteria Are Reflected in 

Folktales from around the World and in Historical European Literature,” Evolution and 
Human Behavior 25, no. 2 (2004): 102-12. 

. See David P. Schmitt (Table 1.1 for a summary of relevant studies), “Evaluating 

Evidence of Mate Preference Adaptations: How Do We Really Know What Homo 
sapiens sapiens Really Want?” in Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Sexual Psychology 

and Behavior, ed. Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford and Todd K. Shackelford (New York: 
Springer, 2014), 3-39. 

. Gad Saad, “Nothing in Popular Culture Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution,” 

Review of General Psychology 16, no. 2 (2012): 109-20; Gad Saad, “The Darwinian 
Roots of Cultural Products,” chap. 5 in The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption 
(Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007), Ch. 5; Gad Saad, “Cultural Products: 
Fossils of the Human Mind,” Ch. 6 in The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, 
Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature (Amherst, New 
York: Prometheus Books, 2011). 

. Don A. Monson, “Why Is la Belle Dame sans Merci? Evolutionary Psychology and the 
* Troubadours,” Neophilologus 95, no. 4 (2011): 523-41. 
. Martin Briine, “De Clérambault’s Syndrome (Erotomania) in an Evolutionary 

Perspective,” Evolution and Human Behavior 22, no. 6, (2001): 409-15. 

. Robert L. Trivers, “Parental Investment and Sexual Selection,” in Sexual Selection and 
" Descent of Man: 1871-1971, ed. Bernard Campbell (Chicago, Illinois: Aldine, 1972), 


. Marcel Eens and Rianne Pinxten, “Sex-Role Reversal in Vertebrates: Behavioural and 

Endocrinological Accounts,” Behavioural Processes 51 (2000): 135-47. 

. Jeffry A. Simpson and Steven W. Gangestad, “Individual Differences in Sociosexuality: 
" Evidence for Convergent and Discriminant Validity,” Journal of Personality and Social 

Psychology 60, no. 6 (1991): 870-83. 

. David P. Schmitt, “Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: A 48-Nation Study of 

Sex, Culture, and Strategies of Human Mating,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28, no. 2 
(2005): 247-75. 

. Russell D. Clark II and Elaine Hatfield “Gender Differences in Receptivity to Sexual 
” Offers,” Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 2, no. 1 (1989): 39-55. 
. Bruce J. Ellis and Donald Symons, “Sex Differences in Sexual Fantasy: An Evolutionary 

Psychological Approach, The Journal of Sex Research 27, no. 4 (1990): 527-55. 

. Laura L. Betzig, Despotism and Differential Reproduction: A Darwinian View of History 

(Hawthorne, New York: Aldine, 1986). 

. Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd, and Peter J. Richerson, “The Puzzle of Monogamous 

Marriage,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 367, no. 
1589 (2012): 657-69. 

. Heather A. Rupp and Kim Wallen, “Sex Differences in Response to Visual Sexual 

Stimuli: A Review,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 37, no. 2 (2008): 206-18. 

. Gad Saad, Aliza Eba, and Richard Sejean, “Sex Differences When Searching for a Mate: 

A Process-Tracing Approach,” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 22, no. 2 (2009): 

. Gad Saad and Tripat Gill, “The Framing Effect When Evaluating Prospective Mates: An 

Adaptationist Perspective,” Evolution and Human Behavior 35, no. 3 (2014): 184-92. 

. Brad J. Sagarin et al., “Sex Differences in Jealousy: A Meta-Analytic Examination,” 
* Evolution and Human Behavior 33, no. 6 (2012): 595-614. 
. Gad Saad and Tripat Gill, “Sex-Specific Triggers of Envy: An Evolutionary Perspective,” 

Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference, Austin, Texas, June 2005. 

. For relevant references, see David M. Buss and David P. Schmitt, “Mate Preferences and 
" Their Behavioral Manifestations,” Annual Review of Psychology 70 (2019): 87. 

. | presented earlier versions of this nomological network at several venues including the 
* Global Forum on Countering Violent Extremism (November 2016) and LogiCal-LA 

(January 2017). 

. Brian J. Coburn, Bradley G. Wagner, and Sally Blower, “Modeling Influenza Epidemics 
* and Pandemics: Insights into the Future of Swine Flu (HINI),” BMC Medicine 7, no. 30 

(2009),; Klaus Dietz, “The Estimation of the 
Basic Reproduction Number for Infectious Diseases,” Statistical Methods in Medical 
Research 2, no. 1 (1993): 23-41. 

. Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs 72, no. 3 (1993): 
” 22-49. Quotes come from pages 31 and 35. 

. “Most Wanted Terrorists,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, 
47. Stuart Winer, “UK Police: London Attacker Acted Alone, Motive May Remain a 

Mystery,” Times of Israel, March 26, 2017, 
“Bill Warner, “Statistical Islam,” Center for the Study of Political Islam, 

. Eric Schmitt and Somini Sengupta, “Thousands Enter Syria to Join ISIS despite Global 
" Efforts,” New York Times, September 26, 2015, 
join-isis-despite-global-efforts.html. : 
“Currently Listed Entities,” National Security, Public Safety Canada, May 7, 2019, 

. "This Day in History,” The Religion of Peace, July 19, 2019, 
.. Erin Miller, “Global Terrorism in 2017,” National Consortium for the Study of 

Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, July 2018, 

. “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of 
” State, (Archived at 

. “Views of Religious Groups,” Mixed Views of Hamas and Hezbollah in Largely Muslim 

Nations, Pew Research Center, February 4, 2010, 

. “An Index of Anti-Semitism,” Anti-Defamation League, 

“The Global Divide on Homosexuality,” Pew Research Center, June 4, 2013, 

. Max Bearak and Darla Cameron, “Here Are the 10 Countries Where Homosexuality 

May Be Punished by Death,” Washington Post, June 16, 2016, 
“The Global Gender Gap Report,” World Economic Forum, 2018, 

. Juan Pina and Emma Watson, “World Index of Moral Freedom,” Freedom Press, July 

Freedom-2018.pdf. ; 

. Abby Ohlheiser, “There Are 13 Countries Where Atheism Is Punishable by Death,” The 
* Atlantic, December 10, 2013, 
atheism-punishable-death/355961/. ; 

. “Number of Countries with Very High Restrictions and Hostilities Went Down in 

2014,” Pew Research Center, June 23, 2016, 
restrictions-and-hostilities-went-down-in-2014/. : 

Chapter Eight Call to Action 





1. For a discussion on the various versions of this quote, see Harold Marcuse, “Versions in 

Niemoller’s Publications,” UC Santa Barbara faculty page, last updated July 14, 2020, 

“Marin Luther King Jr, “Beyond Vietmam” Kine ‘Inetitute, April. dj. ive, 

Danuta Kean, “Show Me the Money’: The Self Published Authors Being Snapped Up 
by Hollywood,” The Guardian, May 15, 2017, 
Published ~—-«Book,”~—SNNPR, February 27, 2016, 

. Lisette Voytko, “Joe Rogan—Controversial Backer Of Bernie Sanders—Is the Top- 

Earning Podcaster, Making $30 Million a Year,” Forbes, February 3, 2020, 
of-bernie-sandersis-the-top-earning-podcaster-making-30-million-a~ SCS 

. Charles Stewart, Haud Immemor: Reminiscences of Legal and Social Life in Edinburgh 

and London 1850-1900 (Edinburgh, Scotland: William Blackwood & Sons, 1901), 33. 

. Gad Saad, “Judging Those Who Never Judge,” Psychology Today, August 20, 2014, 
“Non-judgmental,” Cambridge Dictionary, 

All four quotes are from the New International Version (NIV), 
‘William Lane Craig and Sam Harris, “Is the Foundation of Morality Natural or 
Supernatural? The Craig-Harris Debate,” Reasonable Faith with William Lane Craig, 
April 2011, _ 
morality-natural-or-supernatural-the-craig-harris-deba/. i 

. Amotz Zahavi and Avishag Zahavi, The Handicap Principle: A Missing Piece of Darwin’s 

Puzzle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997). 

. I discuss such rites of passage (including the bullet ant example) as sexual signals in Ch. 

9 of my book The Consuming Instinct (2011). 

. Claire Brownell, “Canada’s First World War Sacrifice by the Numbers,” Maclean’s, 

October 4, 2018, 
sacrifice-by-the-numbers/. ’ 

. "What You Wanted to Know: Champions League Penalties,”, February 20, 

2019,; and Richard A. Farifia et al., “Taking the Goalkeeper’s 
Side in Association Football Penalty Kicks,” International Journal of Performance 
Analysis in Sport 13, no. 1 (2013): 96-109. 






. See for example: Gad Saad (@GadSaad), “This idiot @mzemilycain came after me 
because she apparently hates Jews from the Middle East (people of color) who are war 
refugees. Clearly, she hates Jews and arabs. [I will always win the game of Oppression 
Olympics.] @jack: Please protect me against this racist white woman,” Twitter, 
September 9, 2018, 12:26 a.m., 

Gad Saad (@GadGaad), “T apply bilony & evolutionary peychslony ih thé behavionl 
sciences (including consumer behavior), you retarded degenerate,” Twitter, September 
27, 2017, 8:30 p.m.,; 
Joshua of the Cheesecake Factory Bar (@CellBioJosh), “So not actual science. An ableist 
and a homophobic slur, nice. I also like that you’ve confirmed that you're not a legal or 
medical expert,” Twitter, September 27, 2017, 8:30 p-m., 

Joshua of the Cheesecake Factory Bar (@CellBiojodhy, “Imanine sunpartnga-prolesior 
that actively harasses & bullies students online to the point of defamation. @Concordia 
@ConcordiaUnews,” Twitter, 
September “28 +2017,”~C*~*<‘ ( 2O*#*«WYW Cm, 

. Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly), “One of the greatest leaders of modern times, Sir 
Winston Churchill said, ‘in victory, magnanimity.’ I guess those days are over,” Twitter, 
October 7, 2018, 12:05 p-m., 

_ Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly), “Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My 
apologies. I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do 
not support. My point was we need to come together as one nation. We are all 
Americans. That should transcend partisan politics,” Twitter, October 7, 2018, 7:22 

(ead Sead (Galea). “Sag apelogieing Stay compromiine qoar podieas ten ear 
that you might offend the perpetually offended. Grow a pair. Stand tall. Be confident in 
your personhood. Know which side of the track truth is to be found. Stop the 
cowardice. Stop it @StationCDRKelly,” Twitter, October 8, 2018, 10:15 p.m., 

. Daniel McGraw, “Ideology and Facts Collide at Oberlin College,” Quillette, June 20, 

” 2019, 

. Talal Ansari, “Ohio Bakery Awarded $44 Million in Libel Case against Oberlin College,” 
Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2019, 

. Evan Gerstmann, “Judge Slashes the Verdict against Oberlin College—an Appellate 
Court Might Reduce It Further,” Forbes, July i; 2019, 

. Mark J. Brandt et al., “The Ideological-Conflict Hypothesis: Intolerance among Both 

" Liberals and Conservatives,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 23, no. 1 

(2014): 27-34. 
. Scott Jaschik, “U Chicago to Freshmen: Don’t Expect Safe Spaces,” Inside Higher Ed, 

" August 25, 2016, 


. “The Plan for Dartmouth’s Freedom Budget: Items for Transformative Justice at 
* Dartmouth,” March 2014, Dartblog, See also Gad Saad, 
“The All-Time Greatest Social Justice Warriors,” THE SAAD TRUTH 59, September 9, 
2015, YouTube video, 

. Gad Saad, “I'll Have Large Fries, a Hamburger, a Diet Coke, and an MBA. Hold the 

Pickles,” Psychology Today, January 28, 2009, 
large-fries-hamburger-diet-coke-and-mba-hold-the-pickles. ; 
“Stuart Rojstaczer, “Recent GPA Trends Nationwide Four-Year Colleges and 
Universities,”, March 29, 2016, 

. Colleen Flaherty, “Grades: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Inside Higher Ed, September 13, 
" 2018, _ 



A note about the index: The pages referenced in this index refer to the page numbers in the 
print edition. Clicking on a page number will take you to the ebook location that 
corresponds to the beginning of that page in the print edition. For a comprehensive list of 
locations of any word or phrase, use your reading system’s search function. 


Abrams, Samuel J., 64 

Ali, Ayaan Hirsi, 94, 117 

allergens, 95-96 

Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI), 85-86 
anti-vaxxers, 122-23 _——— 
Antifa, 46,94 

Areo Magazine, 36, 77 

argumentative theory of reasoning, 142 
atheism, 52, 60, 168, 176 ~~ 


Badawi, Raif, 180 

Baron-Cohen, Simon, 63 

Batesian mimicry, 112 
behavioral decision theory, 32 
behavioral immune system, 95-96 
behaviorism, 70 al 
Beirut, Lebanon, 2, 4, 5-7, 9 
benevolent sexism, 85-86 
Benjamin, Carl,42-— 

Biden, Joe,32 

Bill C-16 (Canada), 20, 73 

blank slate, 70 _ 

Boghossian, Peter, 77-78 

brain parasites, 18° 

Brown, Rachel Fulton, 30 
Briine, Martin, 152. 
bullet ants, 180 
burqa, 39, 135, 176-77 
Buss, David, 26, 151 


Canada, 27, 53, 55, 73, 107, 127-28, 135, 156, 163 
Castro, Julian,74.0—~COCS iii 
Center for the Study of Political Islam, 161 

Cinderella effect, 139 aaa 

climate change, xi, xiii, 60, 67, 77, 118, 124-26, 130, 169 
Clinton, Hillary, 31,51,89° ——— 
Collective Munchausen, 94, 105-6, 110 
Collini, Stefan, 135 7". 
Collins, Francis, 63 

comparative psychology, 149 

concept creep, 103 _ 
Concordia University, 15, 193 
congenital adrenal hyperplasia, 149 
consumer psychology, 14,102 ~ 
Cornell University, 13-15, 87, 139, 190, 
costly signaling, 178-180. 
COVID-19, ix ; 

cowardice, 5, 117, 177, 181-82, 186 
Crusades, the, 130, 132 —— 
Cult of Indiscriminateness, 139 

cultural appropriation, 108-10, 188 
cultural relativism, xiii, 134-35, 175-77 
culture of offence, 93 . / 
cuttlefish, 114 


Damore, James, 35 

Darwin, Charles, 57, 66, 105, 146, 178 
David, Larry,47,49° sts—~CS 
Dawkins, Richard, 19, 37, 52, 158 

De Clérambault’s syndrome, 152 
deceptive signaling, 113 ~~ 
demonetization, 42 

Derrida, Jacques, 75 

dhimmi, 133. 

digit ratio, 148 

discriminant analysis, 161-63 

disinvitation, 46-47,95 

diversity, inclusion, and equity cult (DIE), x, 60-61, 90, 126, 172, 187 
Dolezal, Rachel, 71, 110 Soe ee 
Donald Trump’s election, x, 30, 106, 173 

Dorsey, Jack, 96 -—_ 

drive-reduction theory, 101 

Dunning-Kruger effect, 13” 


echo chamber, 47, 95, 174 
Elaboration Likelihood Model, 25 
Ellison, John, 188-89 = 
emotions, x, 24-27, 30, 40, 98, 169 
Enlightenment, the, 20, 191 _ 

epidemiology of infectious diseases, 158 

epistemic humility, 12-13 ~ 

epistemological dichotomania, 24 

evolution, xiii, xiv, 65-66, 95-96, 112, 144, 146, 149, 151, 179 
evolutionaryepistemology,66. 9 
evolutionary psychology, 14, 16, 35, 60, 65, 73, 121, 139, 143, 152 
exposure therapy, 98 ia Aa aa 


Facebook, 106, 124, 135, 172, 181, 
faux-causality, xi, 124,126 
faux-outrage, 37-38, 82, 104, 108-11, 184, 186 
faux-profundity, xi,75. ——— 
feminism, x, xiii, 18, 20, 21, 39, 44, 65, 69, 72, 78, 85, 87, 89, 186 
feminist epistemology,89 = =—stst=—“‘~S™*~*<C;*~™S 
Festinger, Leon, 141 = 

forbidden knowledge, 10, 28 

Ford, Christine Blasey, 33, 100 

Foucault, Michel,75 

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), 46-47 
free speech, 41-43, 45-47, 49-51, 100, 187, 193 a 
Freud, Sigmund, 34,1235 ——s—SCS 

garage band effect, 11 

Geivett, Doug, 23- 24 

gender fluidity, 73, 80 

gender pay gap, 91 

gender pronouns, 's, 20, 73-74 

Global Gender Gap Report, the, 168 
Google, 35, 42, 67 aa 
Gottschall, Jonathan, 152 

Gould, Stephen J., 14-15 “15, 121 

grade inflation, 89° 
Greenfield, Lazar, 37 

grievance studies, 76, 78-79 


Harris, Sam, 28, 39, 
hierarchy of effects, 25 
hierarchy of knowledges, 57 
hierarchy of victimhood, 135 
Hitchens, Christopher, v7 
Hofstede, Geert, 149 ~~ 
Holocaust deniers, 49 
homeostasis, x, 101-5, 108 
homophily, 128-29 ~ 
homophobia, 97, 129, 184 
homosexuality, 48, 115, 167 
honey badger, 183, 186-87 
Hunt, Tim, 377 ; 


idea pathogens, ix, x, xi, xii, xiii, 16, 40, 52, 68-70, 86-87, 90, 92, 123, 171, 182, 187, 189— 90 
identity politics, xiii, 1, 20-21, 54-55, 94, 105, 137, 173, 187 
ideological conformity, 60,66,68 

immune system, 95— 96 ree 

immunotherapy, 96 _ 

Implicit Association Test (IAT), 61 

indigenization, 57-58 = 

infidelity, 26, 139, 156 

intellectual diversity, x, 66, 92 

International Sexuality Description Project, 153 
intersectionality, 10, 81, 94 — 

invisible art, x, 75- 76 
ISIS, 48, 94; 103, 117, 117, 130, 132, 161, 163, 166 

Islam, 20-21, 28, 37, 48, 50-51, 58, 61, 94, 128-36, 156-61, 165-66, 182, 186 
Islamophobia, 50, 52; 111-12, 161 ~~~ ; —_— os 


Jackson, Jesse, 138 

Jew-hatred, 3, 131, 161, 166-67 

jizya.133 77 

judging, 25, 135, 174-75, 177 

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, 47 


Kahneman, Daniel, 27 

Kaplan, Abraham, 125 
Kavanaugh, Brett, x, 30, 32, 100 
Kim, Dorothy, 30° 
Kipnis, Laura, 94 

kleptogamy, 113° 


Lacan, Jacques, 75, 

Lebanese Civil War, ix, 1-5, 190 
Lebanese Jews,2 | 
Letterman, David, 152 
Lexicographic Rule, 32 

liberal bias, 65,67 

life scripts, 3. 

Lindsay, James, 77 

literature review, 145-46 
Littman, Lisa, 82 

Lowentin, Richard, 121 
Lysenkoism, 121-22 — 


Mansur, Salim, 127-28 
March for Science, 55-56 
Marmot, Michael, 10 
Maslow, Abraham, 126 
mate choice, 155,179 

McCue, Lorna June, 59 

McGill University, 8, 104, 107, 189 
McKinnon, Rachel,79. 
memes, 19, 158 ~ 

meritocracy, 16, 105 

meta-analysis, 145-46, 150, 156 
microaggressions, 20, 93, 96, 188 
Mises, Ludvig von, 59-60 
Mohammad cartoons, 48, 52, 178, 182 
moral relativism, 20 ae 
Motion 103,50 ~~ 

multiculturalism, 21, 127, 134 
Munchausen Syndrome, 94, 105 
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP), 83, 105 

Name of the Rose, The, 115 

Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 2. 

natural selection, 99, 113, 146 

neurosexism,90  ———t—~CSN 

Newton, Sir Isaac, 57, 126 

Ngo, Andy,94 

nomological networks of cumulative evidence, 146-69 
preference for the hourglass figure, 146-47 : 
sex-specific toy preferences, 147-50 ; 
sex differences in human mating, 150-56 
Islam, 156-69 aa 

Nye, Bill, 124-25 


O'Rourke, Robert “Beto,” 117-18 
Obama, Barack, 31, 51, 130, 157, 176 
Ockham’srazor,126.°° °° | 
Offit, Paul A., 122 

open borders, xi, 126, 186 
operations research, 99-100 

Oppression Olympics, x, 81, 94, 184 

optimal stimulation level theory, 102 

optimization, 99-100 ai 

Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome (OPS), 10, 18, 123-36 
#NotAllMuslims, 130 ee 
Unicorn Islam fallacy, 130-31 

Deflect strategy, 131-32 

No True Scotsman fallacy, 132 

Infinite Spiral of Delegitimization strategy, 132-33 

Concatenation strategy, 133-36 —— 
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), 51, 159 
Ornish, Dean, 144 ~~, 
Orwell, George, 52, 137 


Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 5-6 
paradox of tolerance, 116-17 — 
parasitic wasp, 18, 92 

parental investment theory, 153, 155 
Particles for Justice, 36 —— 
Patreon, 42-43 ~ 

patriarchy, the, 39, 69, 79, 89, 91, 126, 149 
peacocks, xiii, 151, i - >: 
peer review, 11, 38, 58-59 

Pelosi, Nancy,84. 

penalty kicker, 182-83 

Perry, Mark J., 61 ; 

Peterson, Jordan, 29, 43, 46, 73, 180 
phobias,17,98 ~ CS 
Piaget, Jean, 84 

Pinker, Steven, 34, 56 

Planck, Max, 144. 

Platek, Steven, 38 

political correctness, 1, 20-22, 29, 43-44, 92-93, 103-4, 173 

polylogism, 59-60 

Popper, Karl, 108, 116 

postmodernism, x, xii, 14-16, 18, 20-21, 69, 71-72, 75-76, 78, 172, 187, 
prevalence-induced concept changeeffect,103.  ° 
Psychology Today, 76, 122, 189 — 


Qur'an, the, 133, 161 


racial profiling, xi, 137-38 
Reagan, Ronald, 67-68 

reciprocal altruism, 129 

Rectenwald, Michael, 94 

religious conversion, 159, 163 

replication (as part of the scientific method), 146 
Ridley, Matt, 24 ~~ 
Rogan, Joe, 10-11, 28, 55, 158, 173 

Rossie, Jean-Pierre, 1 Ll 

Rubin, Dave, 43, 94, 174 

Rushdie, Salman, 61 

Russell, Bertrand, 94 


safe spaces, 20, 43, 93, 95-96, 100, 110, 188 

satire, 48, 51-54, 56, 74, 79-80, 8. 83, 104 

Sayet, Evan, 139° —t—C~S™S 

Schmitt, David P., 153 

Schram, Frederick R., 144 

science denialism, 10, 16, 65, 123 

Searle, John, 75 aa 

self-censorship, 43 

self-flagellation, 111, 115-18, 129, 177 

self-loathing, 111,117-18 

September 11 (9/11), 92, 129, 156, 164 

sexual fantasies,75,154. 2 

sexual selection, 113, 151 

sharia law, xi, 51, 132, 136-37, 172 

Shermer, Michael, 23°. 

Singh, Sarina, 46 ~~ 

Smollett, Jussie, 106 

sneaky fucker strategy, 112, 114-15 

social constructivism, 15, 18, 20, 69 

social justice warriors (SJWs), x, xi, xii, 20-21, 46, 60, 64, 91-95, 109-10, 112, 114-16, 118- 
19, 184 Ce ee —— — 

social media, xii, 10-11, 13, 33, 41-44, 67, 80, 158, 173, 178, 183-84, 193 

Society for Judgment and Decision Making, 177 177 <> 

Sociosexual Orientation Inventory, 153 

Sokal, Alan, 76 =. 

Sowell, Thomas, 64, 177 

Stankevicius, Steve, 95 

Strumia, Alessandro, 35- 36 

Summers, Lawrence, 34__ 

Supreme Court, x, 30, 33, 104 


Talks at Google, 35 

Taylor, Matt, 38-39 

tenure, 15, 44-45, 181-82 

terrorism, xi, 75, 125, 129-30, 132, 163-64 
Theron, Charlize, 83-84. ; 
Thunberg, Greta, 84, 169 

toxic masculinity, 86-91, 126, 130, 187 
Tragedy of the Commons, the, 172, 
transabled person, 111 — 
transgender activism, x 69, 82, 107 

Travelling Salesman Problem, 99 _ 

trigger warnings, 20, 93, 96-98, 188 

Trudeau, Justin, 50, 103, 126, 135, 157 

Trump Derangement Syndrome, 32 _ 

Trump, Donald, x, 11, 22, 25, 30-32, 52, 55, 67, 104-6, 126, 173 
Twitter, 33, 42, 52, 67, 79, 82-83, 96, 178, 183-85 
Two-Dimensional Cutting Stock Problem, 99 

tyranny of the minority, the, 79-80, 85,93 


USS. Constitution, xi, 47, 105, 187 

United Nations, 51, 91, 169 


Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, 81 
Victimology Poker, 81, 94, 106, 184 > 

virtue-signaling, 63, 83, 178-81 


Wade, Lisa, 88 

Wakefield, Andrew, 122 

Warner, Bill, 161 

Warren, Elizabeth, 74, 110, 118 

Watson, John, 70 = 

Weinstein, Bret, | 94 

whataboutism, xii, xiii 

white supremacy, 30, 46, 60, 87, 105, 128, 187 
Wilders,Geert,27,50. | 

Wilson, E. O., 121, 190 
World Cup, the, 8, 91, 183 


YouTube, 19, 30, 42, 73, 80, 90, 96, 108, 110, 173-74, 193 


Zeigler, Cyd, 81 

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